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Success Story: MarshmallowMBA

MarshmallowMBA: Amy Trout Hughes & Sandra Stegman


MarshmallowMBA: Amy Trout Hughes and Sandra Stegman

What was life before MarshmallowMBA? 

Sandra & I were roommates in undergrad at Penn State. After school, Sandra went into industrial metal sales and I went into Federal government service as a contractor for 22 years. After a while, I knew I needed to do something different, so chose to attend George Washington University for my MBA. I learned two important things in graduate school: I was not nearly as risk averse as I thought, and I did not want to work for someone else. I ended up starting 2 companies in 3 years. The first was a consulting company and the other a candy company.

I made candy and other sweets with my grandmother since I was a kid. My friend Keith asked, “These are so good, why don’t you sell them?  You could be the MarshmallowMBA!”  At the same time, Sandra was ready for a change and she said, “Let’s try it.” We jumped in with both feet and we haven’t looked back.


Delectable sweets — MarshmallowMBA.

Tell me about the process of making your marshmallows?  

Our industrial kitchen is so stripped-down – we use induction burners, commercial mixers, sheet trays and oh yeah… vodka! We make our flavor extracts with vodka.  In a single week, we use of 50lb of sugar, about 10 gallons of honey and corn syrup, flavoring, and of course a bit of sarcasm. MarshmallowMBA marshmallows have no fat, no egg, no dairy and are gluten free. We use 5 simple and natural ingredients. We have found if you offer 10 people samples, on average 6 people will make a purchase so we always include free samples for our wholesale customers. 

What are some of your favorite flavors?

Sandra’s is Pina Colada.  Marshmallow needs to cure for 24 hours before we can cut them.  Early on, we made a pan of Pina Colada and when I went to pull the tray the next day, I see a chunk had been cut out.   When I asked Sandra what happened, she said, “I couldn’t help it.  I didn’t think they were going to set… ”. I love the Bourbon marshmallow and the entire line of honey-based marshmallows. We buy the honey from a locally owned company and these marshmallows are such a different texture. The flavor is so amazing.


Unusual flavors make MarshmallowMBA not your typical marshmallow.

Can you describe the moment you first discovered your passion for your creating?

I have always been creative in the kitchen and a “foodie”. However, I spent so long being afraid of trying something new or getting out of my comfort zone then I stopped being afraid and that’s when everything took off.

If you could sit down and have hot chocolate with any person, living or dead, who would it be?  

My Grandmother. There was a joke in my family that I was my grandmother’s daughter, but little did everyone know I never took it as a joke. Our relationship was a gift and I know she is watching out for MarshmallowMBA and helping us make connections. 


Marshmallows inspired by Grandma — MarshmallowMBA.


Varieties of marshmallow sweets by MarshmallowMBA.

What’s your advice for people who want to follow their passion like you do?

Don’t tell yourself no. Sometimes, particularly as women, we talk ourselves out of something before someone tells us no. Now I spend time talking to my self-saying yes. It is hard to do it alone so having a good partner is imperative. You need to have someone who you can trust and even who will tell you what you may not want to hear.


The many unique flavors of MarshmallowMBA.

What’s next?

We are working a smart growth strategy and beginning to target restaurants, food services and bars to broaden our market share. We offer more than 100 creative flavors, including happy hour inspired flavors like Mojito and Bourbon, Fire Toasted Vanilla which is smoked so the campfire is IN the marshmallow, and our top-selling Salted Caramel. The product line also includes Energy Marshmallows made with B vitamins and caffeine; our S’morks (s’mores on a fork); and whipped marshmallows.  The options are nearly endless!

If people want to find out more about your line, or contact you, where can they look?

Visit our website at and click on the wholesale tab.
Find MarshmallowMBA at Market Square’s 3-day wholesale show, February 3-5, 2019 at the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center.