Bourbon Marshmallows? Yes, Please!
All photos by Maggie Kimberl. Walking into a kitchen startup incubator deep in the West end of Louisville called Chef Space, everyone seems to be busy with their individual missions. We stop and say hi to Corey, who is making Elixir Kombucha in a medium sized section of the test kitchen that his company rents out. There are caterers busily preparing the next day’s catered lunches, and the kitchen manager, whose wife also runs a food truck out of Chef Space, watches over the whole operation from a central office they jokingly refer to as the “fish bowl.” Rounding the corner there’s a tidy shelf and table next to a hand sink and three section sink with a canister of marshmallows sitting on top. This is where Viviana Ferreira makes Revolution Confection’s bourbon marshmallows.
Ferreira’s family immigrated to Louisville, Kentucky from Portugal when she was a baby in 1971. She grew up here and her parents owned a prominent Chinese restaurant for decades. After studying at Western Kentucky University she worked at Disney World in Orlando for six years before returning home. She spent the next five years researching everything she could about bourbon marshmallows, food manufacturing laws, and other aspects of running a small independent candy business. She toured several kitchens for rent and almost moved to Washington DC where there was a kitchen accelerator called Union Kitchen. Right before she was about to make the move she finally heard about Chef Space in Louisville, which is modeled after Union Kitchen. She toured the space and just knew it was the perfect opportunity to start her bourbon marshmallow business.
Revolution Confections launched on August 30th, which happened to be National Toasted Marshmallow Day. Already Ferreira is up to offering 12 varieties of handmade from-scratch marshmallows, ranging from bourbon ball to s’mores to mint julep flavors. Though all varieties don’t contain bourbon, she has an emphasis on bourbon-based and other spirits-based marshmallows.
After working her day job Ferreira spends her evenings and weekends at Chef Space. She typically preps on Friday evenings, spends all day Saturday making her marshmallows, and then spends all day Sunday cutting and packaging. Monday and Tuesday evenings are overflow times for when she has a lot of orders to fill.
She uses as much bourbon as she can in the marshmallows, which poses a problem – too much alcohol will deflate the marshmallows. But the bourbon taste is definitely prominent in the fluffy pillows of sugar and gelatin, so it is clear she’s done her research. FYI, this is a great opportunity for an emerging brand to partner up and make branded bourbon marshmallows!
Current flavors include:
- Bourbon Ball
- Cold Brew Coffee
- Cookies & Cream
- Kentucky Bourbon
- Mint Julep
- Toasted Coconut
- Chocolate & Toasted Coconut
- Vanilla Bean
Currently Ferreira’s marshmallows are only available for order online here, though Louisville customers can pick them up at her office space if preferable. And there are more flavors coming down the line. She is currently shying away from the idea of stocking them in stores because she feels they are better when they are fresh.
In honor of International Bacon Day, which was September 2nd, Ferreira cooked up a batch of maple bacon bourbon marshmallows, which she plans to serve at Butchertown’s Porktoberfest culinary competition in Louisville on October 6th. Those will be available for sale on her website as of now, still in time for Bourbon Heritage Month!