We had the good fortune of connecting with Tricia Arce and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Tricia, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
To create a nostalgic dessert that everyone could enjoy. We live in Arizona where its too hot to actually have a campfire outside. So we thought what if we created S’mores in front of the guest and created them to their desires. Enjoying a campfire dessert but in the confines of free AC and not a lot of mosquitos.

Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
We created the first every S’mores Bar and Marshmallow shop in 2014, in our location we not only created delicious S’mores but created an experience for the guest. We also sell handmade marshmallows that come in over 30 different flavors that customers can pick up and take home. Customers come in and get to watch us torch a marshmallow in a handmade graham cracker bowl, also known as a S’mores Bowl, after torching their marshmallow to their expectations such as light, traditional or burnt we top them with any toppings such as chocolate, caramel, PB and nuts, candies or brownies. Nobody creates S’mores like we do, we wanted to think out of the box. What I want the world to know is that I don’t do this to have a bigger house, faster car or afternoons on the beach. I do this because I love the feedback on how it made people smile, how memories are being created, everything that I miss about my grandmother. I started this business because she passed and I needed to find something to ease that pain and marshmallows fell in my lap. During the learning and the process of making marshmallows my grieving became less painful and all the passion and love I have for my grandmother I put into my passion of marshmallows which make me smile. It wasn’t easy at first we were such a niche, everyone goes to ice cream shops, candy stores, bakeries but not an all marshmallow shop. So we worked really hard on social media to show everyone what we did and how we did it. We were actually blessed though, we were helped by social media seeing a video we did on one of our smores and they picked it up. That video went viral on FB, Twitter and Instagram and that truly helped create our brand because everyone saw it all over the world. Keeping that momentum has been hard and we chase it everyday. What we have learned is that one, nobody is really out to help you, there are a lot of people who rather ride the coattails with empty promises. Two, don’t try to grow so big so fast because you’ll spend money in areas that are not feasible, due the research first. Bigger machines or co packers are not always the answer. Third, you’ll always work harder for yourself, no such thing as a 40 hour work week when your a business owner.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
This is perfect because my best friend lives in another state so first I would take them to Sedona AZ to a breakfast place called Coffee Pot. They have the best breakfast and the vibe is just so relaxed. Then I would take them to the Amitabha Stupa which is very peaceful to reflect and enjoy the surroundings. Then we would come back to the valley for something sweet so I’d go to the Great Gadsby to enjoy their pop tart or pastries. For dinner because I love being local I’d head over to Chestnut if we were feeling healthy or Clay’s Dawgs for something hearty. We would then go visit Local Donut for breakfast the following day and then head over to Wonderspaces Arizona to look at some art then for dinner head over to Tempe Marketplace for one of the many restaurants there. To be honest I would show off all my favorite dessert shops such as Lisa’s Rum cake, Frosted Frenzy, Sodalicious and Decadent Macaron and then all my favorite coffee shops like Pura Vida, Pour Jo and Bergies. If we were feeling like some ice cream definitely hit up Shakes and Cones and Papa Ed’s. I know where she lives they don’t have any of these fun dessert shops. Then of course have to hit up all the breakfast places like Morning Kick, Henhouse and Rise Up Bakery.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
My Crew! My wife for being the creative vision of what my dreams are, Catherine for being the mouse in the wheel and keeping the store vibrant, Luke for continuing to grow our online business and always going that extra inning, Jacqui for being the grasshopper and learning how to make marshmallows so that I don’t go crazy. Amy for being that extra hand when needed. Allison, Emily and Kaycie for being the most amazing S’moreistas and never letting me down.

Website: https://www.thetoastedmallow.com/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/toasted.mallow/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ToastedMallow/
Yelp: https://www.yelp.com/biz/toasted-mallow-gilbert-3?sort_by=date_desc

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