Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Bang Candy Company - A Bangin' Sweet Idea in The Heart of Nashville

Bang Candy Company - A Bangin' Sweet Idea in The Heart of Nashville

Growing up in Ireland, Sarah Souther never imagined she would be an entrepreneur and certainly never imagined that the entrepreneurial venture would involve marshmallows - the gourmet kind dipped in chocolate and bursting with flavors such as Rose Cardamom, Chocolate Chili and Toasted Coconut. However, life has an interesting way of taking us on grand adventures that we never could have imagined and Sarah's story is proof of that.

As a little girl, Sarah wanted to be a tiger. Yes, I said a tiger - that majestic animal that is beautiful when you see it on TV or separated from by 12 inches of glass in a zoo. The kind of tiger that you never want to meet on the street LOL! (BTW, she and I had a good laugh about that idea). Then she decided she wanted to be a princess and was elated when she found out that her name means "Princess". That revelation led her to believe that she could do anything she wanted to in life. She studied film in college in Ireland and once she left college she moved back home and took a job in a flower shop. The owner of the flower shop was very creative and allowed Sarah to express her creativity as well.

She met an American man, got married and moved to the United States with her new husband. She was living what she calls a "good life of leisure" while married but, felt that she wanted much more out of her life than that. The marriage didn't work out and they divorced. Being a single mother who needed to care for herself and her daughter in a new country, she set out to make a living for herself. At one point she worked five, yes FIVE, jobs at one time! She was doing freelance marketing and PR, creating art, teaching yoga and making marshmallows all at the same time!

One day she was at a local Nashville Restaurant and, for dessert, had a wonderful cup of hot chocolate with a side of marshmallows. As fate would have it, Sarah fell in love with the marshmallows. She went home and started pulling ingredients out of her kitchen cabinets to experiment with making these marshmallows herself. Growing up with a mother who was a French-trained Chef, she has always been one for experimenting in the kitchen. Once she figured out a good recipe for the marshmallows, she made some for a friend's dinner party and everyone loved them! One of the guests at the party even commented that "These [marshmallows] are like swallowing God in Velvet Pants!"With Marshmallows that good, she naturally started to get more orders, enough orders to actually turn a profit. At the Beginning of this venture, Sarah was even going to East Nashville in the middle of the night to use a commercial kitchen to create her gourmet marshmallows. She would then head out all over Nashville the following day to sell her treats. She thought about  buying a food truck but, couldn't afford it at the time. She had some guys in Bellevue build a cart out of wood that she hitched to her car and drove around to farmer's markets to sell her goods. Once she started selling the marshmallows on a regular basis she decided she needed a Brick and Mortar location. She says, "My brain does not think in a mathematical way" so without over-analyzing all the financials, she look a leap of faith and moved into the space she currently occupies in Marathon Village. "I am amazed....absolutely amazed" at the success of the shop she says. She has been opened in this location since January 2011.

"The fact that people are obsessed with the idea of marshmallows is completely absurd" she laughs. Sarah has obviously found her niche in that absurdity and does a great job of catering to the needs of her customers.

Her daughter, who is now a teenager, works in the shop so that she can make that extra spending money that all teenagers love to have. Sarah is glad that her daughter gets to see her working hard and doing what she loves.

When Sarah was trying to come with with the name for her business along with a logo design, she started playing around with names like "The Dang Candy Company" but the word "dang" is not really recognized outside of the US. Years earlier, she created a scarf for her sister with the pattern of a pink pistol. She doesn't even like guns but, admires the sleek structure and design of them (remember she is an artist). Needless to say, "Dang" led to "Bang" and The Bang Candy Company was created!

Mmmmmmm....Hot Chocolate mixes. Sarah's marshmallows pair well with the Hot Chocolate.

Ever had a Lemon - Lavender Blueberry Marshmallow??? Until I visited Bang Candy Company, neither had I. It was fabulous and contains tiny little blueberry pieces :-)

Cranberry, Goat Cheese and Rosemary Scone - a great breakfast pastry

I can't get enough of this logo....It's so creative!

This is the actual scarf design that Sarah created for her sister years before she ever imagined that she would be an entrepreneur and own her own candy company. If you are one of those people, like I am, who believes that certain events in life are setups to something greater, you just might feel at least a little bit encouraged right now that achieving your heart's desire is possible :-)

Sarah has been so creative with the flavors of her marshmallows: Toasted Coconut, Orange Ginger Cinnamon, Lemon Lavender Blueberry, Rose Cardamom, Chocolate Espresso, and Chocolate Chili.

The Toasted Coconut has a great light coconut flavor sprinkled with real coconut pieces. The Orange Ginger Cinnamon has just a hint of tangy citrus flavor.

The Chocolate Espresso tastes just like a cup of espresso in marshmallow form and the Chocolate Chili definitely gives that kick of spice at the end!

The Salted Caramels are delicious because they reveal one of my favorite flavor combinations - Sweet and Salty. The "Salty" doesn't break through til' the end...Fun Fun!

The Bird Dog - A delicious Panini with Turkey, Brie, Spinach, Mustard, and Cranberry-Orange Relish

The Cranberry-Orange Relish adds a great dose of sweetness to the sandwich!

These naturally flavored syrups are perfect for mixing in cocktails, teas, lemonades and desserts. The flavors sound amazing!

Here she is, the brains and brawn behind Bang Candy Company, Sarah Souther. She is such a joy to chat with, especially with her beautiful Irish Accent!

I just ADORE this shop, Sarah and her inspiring story! Make sure to visit Bang Candy Company online @ www.bangcandycompany.com

In person at:
1300 Clinton Street, #127
Nashville, TN

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