CSU alumni create custom marshmallows

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James Schrack holds a bag of chocolate chip Stuff’n Mallows in his office, located at the Rocky Mountain Innosphere.

In elementary school it was a rite of passage to play chubby bunny as drool dripped down to your chin while you mumbled the words, “hubby unny.”

Three alumni from Colorado State University have created a high-end marshmallow — one that many wouldn’t dare use to play a childhood favorite.

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“It’s not a chubby bunny marshmallow, you’re not just pounding as many in your mouth as you can,” said James Schrack, CEO of Stuff’n Mallows.

Schrack and his partners, Paul Jenkins and Tyler Krenzelok, combined the classic white marshmallow with decadent chocolate to create a tastier product, but more importantly, a better s’more. At first, their recipe was a deviation of Alton Brown’s, which they found online.

“The secret part is us putting in the chocolate, that’s our trade secret. It’s kind of like the Coke formula,” Schrack said.

The three gathered together for their Introduction to Entrepreneurship class in their sophomore year at CSU. They were assigned a group project to create a product for sale.

“Our original idea was a CamelBak attachment that Tyler actually came up with and it was going to monitor how much water you had in your CamelBak,” Schrack said.

Then they found out that attachment already existed.

“I was like it would kind of be embarrassing to pitch an idea that already exists,” Schrack said. “So we got together for a little emergency last minute meeting.”

From then on the idea of the perfect s’more took over and Stuff’n Mallows was born. In their Management 420 class they took their product and created a business plan.

Soon after the three entered CSU’s New Economy Venture Accelerator and eventually were one of three businesses chosen to enter the Rocky Mountain Innosphere under the CSU Hatchery office, where their current office is located. They share their space with the other two businesses and receive free use of the facility for a year.

On June 29, 2013, Stuff’n Mallows entered their first store — The Cupboard. According to Diane Fields, a former 10 year employee who still lends a helping hand, the three entrepreneurs made a small fire in the store, roasted their marshmallows and placed them on graham crackers for customers to try.

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Since then, Stuff’n Mallows has grown into 40 stores nationwide, spanning from Arizona to New York. At the end of May, the trio will travel to Chicago where they’ll attend the Sweets and Snacks Expo, the largest trade show for confectionary products in North America, with the hopes of landing a few national retailers.

Schrack also previewed some of Stuff’n Mallows plans as they approach their one year anniversary since entering stores.

“I’d lie if I didn’t say we have a whole laundry list of flavors ready to go,” Schrack said.

Future flavors include caramel, coffee espresso bean and maple bacon.

Schrack finished the conversation with some parting words for striving entrepreneurs.

“Your dream is not going to be successful if you don’t actually do it,” Schrack said.

In celebration of the Sweets and Snacks Expo, a S’mores Kickoff party will be held at the Innosphere from 4 – 6 p.m. May 9. To learn more about Stuff’n Mallows, visit their website at www.stuffnmallows.com.

Collegian Community Editor Lawrence Lam can be reached at news@collegian.com.