If you've always dreamed of eating mini cereal marshmallows by the fistful, Nathan Wratislaw has you covered. His website, Cereal Marshmallows, sells generic colored crunchy marshmallows in seven-ounce bags (two for $7.99) and in bulk (up to 95 pounds for $399.99). Despite looking like a '90s Angelfire website and Wratislaw's personal page saying "For Cars, Trucks, Vitamins, Stereo Equipment, The RIOT, Cereal Marshmallows, Cleanses and on and on and on ... Call Nathan," the site appears to be totally legitimate. To find out more about the man behind the marshmallows, I gave Wratislaw a call.
I don't mean to be a jerk, but is this site for real? It looks kinda unprofessional.
It's legit! It's just that I'm so un-Web savvy, and it's all my pet project. I don't have a bunch of technical Web people doing things for me. I'm in a big revamp right now with about three people working on it, 'cause it's ugly, it's just not as smooth and rounded out as everyone else's website. But you want a marshmallow, that I can do.
What motivated you to create a business around cereal marshmallows?
Mostly just running out of cereal marshmallows and having all the cereal left over in the box—it's probably one of the most common things I hear from customers. Like today, a guy wanted a note included in a shipment to his brother saying, "Here's all the marshmallows I owe you." He was doing the same thing I did, where if you shake the cereal box just right, the marshmallows all come up to the top.
As you can see, we mostly do vitamins and classic cars; this is my off-brand little love child. I just love marshmallows and had to do it.
How long have you been in the marshmallow biz? Where are you based?
We've been selling them for about three years. We're in Montana.
What's the demand like for the product?
I get a lot of bakeries, yogurt, and ice cream shops that love them. And I've got every grocery store and liquor store coming around wanting the product.
What do customers say?
You couldn't imagine the responses, from "you are an idiot," to "this is great, I can't believe I found this." Someone was just bugging me about putting them in macaroni and cheese. I don't understand it, but I put it on my site under "recipes."
Where do the marshmallows come from? I assume you don't have a staff of leprechauns picking them out of cereal by hand.
We have a contract manufacturer so we can get just the actual marshmallows. [His website chronicles the quest: "I searched the World Over Japan, China Mexico, Netherlands, Germany, Belgium, UK, Australia, NOWHERE could I Get a Crunchy Crispy Marshmallow I ordered everything you could imagine and tried to get manufacturers to make it for me to no avail ... Then Right here in the USA I found the perfect Marshmallow."] Today someone wanted all the colors segregated, but I can't really get just purple or pink.
What's next for cereal marshmallow entrepreneurship?
We are going for retail, and it's coming out really soon. I'm also trying to get an international page up. To ship four bags overseas can be 30 to 50 bucks for shipping alone, and people are still ordering them!
What do you do with your cereal marshmallows?
I went through a period where I decided to buy every type of cereal and do them do them do them. [Editor's note: You can see the results of his cereal-plus-marshmallows experimentation in Wratislaw's YouTube video series.] When I get a new shipment in, I usually get four or five bags and take them home. My favorite thing is to put them in brownies and rice cereal treats.