“Yummy. Squishy. Fresh,” is the playful tagline for Hudson Valley Marshmallow Co., a marshmallow brand based out of small-town Beacon, New York. When the brand’s current owner, Brendan McAlpine, took over a popular bakery from his friend, he decided to see if he could take the business to the next level and get their locally loved products, specifically their marshmallows, placed in stores. Learn how Hudson Valley Marshmallow Co. caught the attention of Whole Foods Market with their natural ingredients, creative flavors, handmade spirit, and a little help from RangeMe.
From bakery to buyers
When McAlpine stepped in to take over a local bakery that was closing after 12 successful years, he quickly realized that there was even more potential in the small business than he had anticipated.
“At the time, marshmallows were one of the things the bakery made, but not the focus,” he says. But when McAlpine took a closer look at product performance, he noticed that the marshmallows were popular and could potentially be viable for retail. “I was pretty confident that with a few tweaks to the packaging and production I could take them from the boutique bakery setting to retail stores,” he explains.
With that goal in mind, McAlpine came across RangeMe as a solution to get the products in front of buyers, which he saw as the main barrier to the brand’s success. “Literally anyone that tries the product says, ‘Ooh, I want this,’ so for us, because we already have a stellar product, finding success is more about getting our foot in the door,” he says. “And RangeMe has been really helpful for us in that way, to make those initial connections.”
Local favorite lands in leading retailer
After signing up for RangeMe and getting Verified™, McAlpine made sure the brand’s profile was as engaging and visually appealing as possible, which he believes was key to his success on the platform.
And sure enough, Hudson Valley Marshmallow Co. caught the eye of a Whole Foods Market buyer who was looking for local products to carry in the northeast. “We got into Whole Foods through RangeMe, which is so exciting for us,” McAlpine says. “We’re in one Whole Foods store right now, as part of their local brands program.”
As a proud local business, Hudson Valley Marshmallow Co. was a perfect fit for Whole Foods Market’s local brand initiative. “All of our production takes place right now in Beacon, New York, which is in the Hudson Valley,” McAlpine explains, hence the brand’s name. “Beacon is a great place to be, and we’re excited to part of the local business community here.”
So far, the placement with Whole Foods Market is going well, and McAlpine is confident that this retailer partnership will continue to grow. “It’s promising to see that we’re actually selling product very well at the store we’re in right now,” he says. “We’re hopeful that during this year we’ll expand to get into a handful more Whole Foods Stores throughout the whole northeast territory.”
Mixing it up with marshmallows
At their flagship bakery in Beacon, they love testing out new flavors in-store as a fun way to interact with their customers. They’ve tried out creative flavors like lemon meringue marshmallows, seasonal flavors like pumpkin, and even an everything bagel marshmallow, and in the coming year, McAlpine is excited to bring more of that creativity to Hudson Valley Marshmallow Co.’s retail products.
“This year, we’re really focusing on growing our capability—and RangeMe is helping us do that.”
“We’re hoping to expand our marshmallow flavors and release some new products, like s’mores kits, which we’re confident will be really popular with customers and retailers,” he says.
Ultimately, Hudson Valley Marshmallow Co. is focused on expanding their retailer connections and in-store placements in the coming year. “It’s mainly been in the last nine months that we really launched our wholesale retail program, and we’ve already seen that the product moves really well and is popular wherever we put it,” McAlpine explains. “This year, we’re really focusing on growing our capability—and RangeMe is helping us do that.”