Welcoming a new addition to the area that will have you begging for s’more.
by Cassandre Cadieux
Anyone with a sweet tooth will appreciate one of East York’s newest additions: The Marshmallow Factory. Located at 709 Danforth Avenue, about a block east of Pape Avenue, this new café is like a little kid’s dream: bright colours, candy and chocolate everywhere, and most importantly… marshmallow.
I sat down with Norman Schaffer, owner, mixer, and mastermind behind The Marshmallow Factory, who kindly offered me a varied assortment of marshmallow cream-filled delicacies, to discuss what this new establishment offers to the neighbourhood and how it’s different from anything else in the area.
“I would describe [the Marshmallow Factory] as being totally different,” Schaffer explains as he begins to tell me how his store functions. The concept is quite simple, but the customers can personalize their experience. The customer picks a shell of either cookie or chocolate (of various shapes and sizes) and chooses from a variety of marshmallow cream filling for the tart. Finally, they decide which additional toppings they’d like, such as chocolate sprinkles, nuts, or coconut, and then they have created a marshmallow masterpiece of their own. There is even an option for every customer to put their own powdered flavour on their creations, including mocha, chocolate, sugar, and a sour option. Schaffer compares it to an “ice cream place, where you pick your ice cream, you pick your different sort of toppings and they blend it in. Well, this is the same sort of concept but without ice cream.” He says this is different from a lot of locations on the Danforth because “a customer would have to be creative and kind of experiment on their own.”
But why choose marshmallow when you have all the other available sweets and pastries on the market? “I think it’s a very diversified product,” Schaffer admits. “You can put it in hot drinks—being coffee, hot chocolate, and tea—then the cold drinks like soda, juices, smoothies, and [marshmallow] makes it all more rich, more creamy … it’s just another alternative.” Instead of going to a bakery or an ice cream parlour, families can experience something new, something with unexpected flavour and texture, without having to leave their neighbourhood.
Schaffer makes all of his marshmallow cream in-house. His filling flavours include vanilla, cherry, bubblegum, rum, Coca-Cola, and mint; quite amazingly, they all taste exactly as they’re described. Additionally, they aren’t as tooth-achingly sweet as I thought they were going to be because Schaffer doesn’t enhance his flavours with sugar, but simply with the ingredients themselves. Coca-Cola flavoured marshmallow cream tastes like a creamy soft drink, not just sugar-filled cream. And what’s next for the Marshmallow Factory? “I think I’m going to make lemon next in a couple weeks,” teases the owner.
Although marshmallow may not be the first thing you think of when hitting the town, I would recommend going to the Marshmallow Factory. Kids will love being able to make their own gooey creations while adults will flashback to a time when root beer floats reigned supreme by trying the café’s marshmallow cream soda pop beverage. I walked in a little hesitant as to how there would be enough diversity in marshmallow to make a business, but I left wanting to try as many combinations as I could. I had a cookie filled with cherry marshmallow cream and coconut, and it was unlike anything I had ever tasted—delicious!