Welcome to Behind the Box, our interview series to introduce you to exciting sellers on the Cratejoy Marketplace! Each of these small businesses has a unique, important story to tell, and we’re eager to help spread the word.
This month, we’re shining a light on Black entrepreneurs, creators, and sellers in the Cratejoy community, each with their own important stories and passions. Today, we sat down with Chef Saidah Farrell, the founder, professional pastry chef, and single mom behind the delicious gourmet subscription Marshmallow of the Month Club! Learn more about what inspired Chef Farrell to launch Marshmallow of the Month below.
Tell us your story! What inspired you to launch your box?
I am Saidah Farrell, affectionately known as Chef Farrell. I created Edible Opus (a Marshmallow of the Month subscription box) out of a desire to sell my baked goods via ecommerce.
In 2010, I left a dead-end job and decided to go back to school, studying culinary arts at a local community college. After graduating, I began selling my baked goods, marshmallows, and graham crackers at local farmers' markets. I saved up enough money to open a brick-and-mortar bakery –– but not enough, as I had to close six months later. [So] I took some time off from my own ventures and began teaching culinary arts. Part of my curriculum was entrepreneurship, [and] this got me thinking how I could get back to having my own.
I started selling my s’more survival kits again when I was approached by a subscription box owner who wanted kits for her box. This was my first introduction to the subscription box model.
[Then] I researched and developed my box over four months' time and launched in August 2019. This model has been the most successful of all my entrepreneurial pursuits.
What makes Marshmallow of the Month unique?
My marshmallows do not contain pork gelatin. Each month is a different theme [and different flavor].
How do you decide what goes into the box for your customers? Where do you source your products from?
The goal was to be a part of life’s celebrations. Each month celebrates a holiday or occasion. I make most of the products, [and] I source from other small businesses as well.