In today's MEET THE MAKER post we are delighted to be introducing you to the lovely ladies at Camran Crafts - creators of melt-in-the-mouth, scrumptious, artisan marshmallows. If you haven't yet had the pleasure of tasting these delicious confections then you will be in for a treat if you visit our event this weekend as they will be exhibiting at The Spring Into Summer Vintage & Handmade Fair at Belfast Castle on Sunday 2nd April. This week we caught up with the lovely ladies for a bit of a chat about all things marshmallow, so why not make yourself a nice cup of tea and sit down to enjoy what goes on behind the scenes at Camran Crafts..........
So ladies, we have long been big fans of yours but could you tell us your background and how Camran Crafts started?
We started the business after our children expressed an interest in marshmallows, but did not like the texture or the artificial taste of shop purchased ones. After lots of research and little piles of 'not quite there' mallows, the camran mallow was born! Our children have additional needs so are very, very particular. We were able to produce an all natural, gluten, fat and dairy free mallow that melted in the mouth and they loved it. The business was then developed to not only have an opportunity to share these amazing little bites of confectionery but to raise awareness and funding for Autism related projects.
How would you describe your business and what you do?
Our business is fun! We are so fortunate to be in the position to do what we do. Our customers love telling us what flavour combinations they would like us to make and revel in giving us wee challenges to rise to. The texture of our mallows is so very different and one of the biggest smiles we give is when someone says "well I wasn't expecting that... I don't even like marshmallows... can I take a bag of those and those please"!
We hear you have recently been nominated for some awards???
Our Strawberry & Champagne mallow made the finals of Blas Na Eireann and our Orange, Mango and Gin earnt us the title of Small Producer of the Year from the Irish Food and Drinks Quality Awards team. .... humbling and honoured on both accounts. Our true award though are our customers - we love them and really enjoy the time they spend to come and talk to us and share their stories whilst having a mallow sampling journey.
Where does the inspiration for your flavours come from?
We are well known for mallows and alcohol.... particularly whiskey or gin! Necessity or Fun??? - we will let you decide! The children inspire a lot of the flavours (without the booze!), they are young enough to not be tainted by thinking that savoury is savoury and you don't mix sweet with it... so they have great ideas. Not all of them work, but we have a go at most of them. Alongside our customers, this wee country has so much to offer and inspires us all the time. Our Whiskey & Chocolate mallow is made with that lovely north coast nectar and chocolate from Wee ChoCo which has gorgeous fruit undertones to complement the honey and vanilla in the whiskey. With plenty of Cider companies around and gorgeous apples grown here we have been inspired to produce an apple and candied chilli mallow. The chilli doesn't provide a kick in the mallow, it warms the apple and creates a more intense taste sensation. Sometimes we genuinely just blurt out flavours whilst having coffee and see what happens. We did say it was fun!
What are your plans for the future?
To remain happy and slightly sane. We will be going through a rebranding exercise in 2017 and our packaging is being redesigned. We have a few collaborations planned throughout the year too so keep an eye out for those.
We would like to say a huge thank you to all the Frock Fair customers and events team. The locations of these events are first class and we truly have an amazing time exhibiting. They are so well organised and the customers are always so kind and considerate that you hardly feel like you are working at all!
For more information on these delectable treats you can visit the Camran Crafts website and also follow them on Facebook.
You can also catch Camran Crafts at Belfast Castle this Sunday where they will be exhibiting as part of The Spring Into Summer Vintage & Handmade Fair.
COMPETITION ALERT!! One lucky person will also soon be able to win some delicious Carmran artisan mallows as part of our April Prize Package this Sunday 2nd April at Belfast Castle!