Welcome to Fort Collins Community Connections. This is a recurring blog from Visit Fort Collins where we introduce you to incredible local businesses and their owners and share their connection to Fort Collins. This week we spoke with James Schrack, Co-Founder/CEO of Stuff'n Mallows. Schrack is one of three Colorado State University graduates that started the unique Stuff''n Mallows, the other two brains behind the operation are Paul Jenkins and Tyler Krenzelok. Essentially, Stuff'n Mallows came about out of a mission to create the perfect s'more, and Schrack, Jenkins and Krenzelok have done it. Their infused marshmallows are simply incredible.
What makes Stuff'n Mallows unique?
Stuff’n Mallows, as a business, is trying to disrupt the candy and snacking industry in relation to marshmallows. We hand make our marshmallows and stuff chocolate chips (and other goodies) inside them so they can be toasted, roasted, melted, snacked on, baked with or any other way you can think of to use a marshmallow. Think about s’mores like never before, but the possibilities are endless.
What is the story behind how Stuff'n Mallows came to be?
We started this business as a class project while studying undergrad at Colorado State. We were business students in an entrepreneurship class and after we found out our original project idea already existed, Tyler suggested that we improve on the s’more and take his old trick of putting a chocolate bar in a plain marshmallow and see if we could make marshmallows with chocolate already in them. Paul and I both felt the idea wasn’t serious enough for a college course, but thought a bit more about it and figured we could have the best presentation in class and get an “easy A” with a fun and creative product. So, we went for it. The idea was a hit, we got our A, and thought it was over with. CSU was putting an emphasis on entrepreneurship and they were starting an entrepreneurial workshop that selected 12 companies/ideas that at the end they could pitch for real money. We got accepted to the program and ended up winning some capital and an office space free of charge for a year. So, we decided now was the time in our lives to try something crazy like this. We turned down our “real jobs” and told our parents upon graduation…we were going to start a marshmallow company, and thus Stuff’n Mallows was real.
What do you love about Fort Collins?
What’s not to love would be a better question. I’m a Colorado native, so obviously we have fantastic weather, lovely scenery and great people. Fort Collins has so many special things to do and so many great people to do them with. It is a great place for a family, and a great place for starting a business.
What are some of your favorite things to do in Fort Collins?
Some of my favorite things to do in Fort Collins include a beautiful drive or hike up the Poudre Canyon or Horsetooth Reservoir. I’m a huge foodie and beer geek, so I quite often can be found enjoying a delicious beer paired with a tasty meal from one of our many food trucks. We have so many great events and activities that I often try and immerse myself in whatever is going on around town, whether it be listening to music at a festival like NewWestFest, or dressing up and enjoying biking and beer at Tour De Fat, there’s never a shortage of things to do around Fort Collins and it’s all in very close proximity.
Tell us a little about yourself...
I was born and raised in Aurora, CO and was an active athlete. I love everything about Colorado and really never had any desire to move anywhere else. I love traveling, but always want to call Colorado home. My entrepreneurial bug started mowing lawns during the summers to make some spending cash and I always had a desire to own my own business, but never knew exactly what it would entail. I went to Smoky Hill High School in Aurora, CO and then decided I wanted to stay in state for college and fell in love with Fort Collins, and Colorado State, and I’ve been here ever since.
Any interesting family influences that got you into this?
Surprisingly enough, I recently learned that my great grandfather was quite the entrepreneur himself, and invented a machine used to automate the process for making doughnuts. He also owned his own potato chip company. That wasn’t the reason I got into my current position, but having been in the business and learning of this information recently, maybe it had some sub-conscious influence on me I didn’t even know about!
What do you want people to experience when it comes to Stuff'n Mallows?
Our hope is that when people think of marshmallows years down the road, they will think of Stuff’n Mallows. Our product truly brings people together and makes them smile. I think if at the end of the day that’s what people experience when they enjoy our product, we have succeeded.
Contact Onlilne: https://www.stuffnmallows.com/Contact/
Hours of Operation: 9:00am - 5:00pm M-F
(all photos courtesy of Stuff'n Mallows)