Bang Candy Co.'s Sarah Souther on making gourmet marshmallows in Nashville How bringing homemade marshmallows to a friend's birthday party turned into a thriving business.
When Sarah Souther took some of her handmade marshmallows to a friend’s birthday party, the Irish-born, single mother turned confectionery entrepreneur hoped her hostess gift would make an impression. After all, her Rose Cardamom marshmallows had been making the rounds of Nashville with some success.
It was when the hostess likened them to “swallowing God in velvet pants!” that Souther knew she was onto something.
The origins of Bang Candy Co. go back to 2010 on a faithful night when Souther and her friend enjoyed a handmade marshmallow as part of a dessert at Arnold Myint’s restaurant Chah Chah.
Inspired by the experience, Souther went home, experimented and not long after Rose Cardamom marshmallows were being whispered about all over the city.
People were ordering them for parties, parking lot deals were being made and the idea that a little bit of cash could be made in the process was rather exciting for the budding candymaker.
The next step was finding a more legitimate place to make and sell the candy. Time in a commercial kitchen was rented and a small garden shed was purchased, stuck on top of a 5-ft. x 8-ft. trailer, and taken all over town selling hot chocolate and marshmallows.
At this point, a few more flavors had been born — Toasted Almond Coconut, Chocolate Chili and Maple Bacon Bourbon to name a few — and a couple of cafes and local stores had started buying wholesale.
In 2012 Bang Candy opened a store in the Historical Marathon Village. There Souther began to expand beyond marshmallows, introducing a line of flavored simple syrups for cocktails, sodas and culinary uses as well as caramels, chocolate barks, hard candies and a myriad of other sweet treats. All the products are crafted in small batches using the finest all-natural ingredients, no preservatives, no stabilizers, no artificial colors or artificial flavors.
If you were stranded on a deserted island with only one kind of candy, what would it be?
Oh my goodness — what a question!! I love candy soooo much it’s nearly impossible to pick a favorite.
What was the last cool thing you saw online?
This Giraffe animation by Nicolas Deveaux is just about the coolest thing I’ve seen since I saw the internet for the very first time!! Get ready to have your noodle baked!
When you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up?
A tiger. When I realized that was out of the question I turned my efforts towards becoming a princess. My dreams were realized when I found out that my name meant princess in Hebrew! I was beyond thrilled!!
What’s the last book you’ve read?
The Diamond as Big as the Ritz and Other Short Stories, by F. Scott Fitzgerald.
What is your pet peeve?
Negativity. It just doesn’t work for anyone, ever!
Who would you like to colloborate with?
I absolutely love collaborations! I’d love to collaborate with Katrina Markoff of Vosges, she’s a hero of mine.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
Fake it ‘til you make it. Apparently no one else really knows what they’re doing either! We are all just on a journey learning and inventing as we go. This was hugely helpful to me as a young lady and still is!
What excites you most about your job?
My favorite part of this job is coming up with new products, developing them flavor wise, conceptualizing the vibe and packaging, collaborating with designers and finally being able to see, touch.