Marshmallow of the Month Club: SaidaH Farrell Spotlight
We’re excited to feature this month’s spotlight on Saidah Farrell, owner and founder of Marshmallow of the Month Club. She’s busy making everyone happy with s’more survival kits, but we found some time to sit down with her and get to know the story behind all of her creativity.
Marshmallow of the Month Club is a unique tasting experience for gourmet marshmallow lovers. This experience follows other ventures of Saidah’s, which eventually paved the way for the innovative, ever-growing business it is today.
Saidah began selling pastries as a home-based business, and then she moved onto Central Kitchen and participated in markets like the Cleveland Flea and North Union Farmers Markets. She eventually opened a bakery, Olivia Rose, on Chagrin Boulevard in 2015, but later closed it down to refocus on what route she wanted to take.
Saidah refocused her career plans by becoming a culinary instructor at Cleveland Metropolitan School District. She created recipes alongside youth who would go on to conceptualize these recipes and sell their creations on food trucks. Then, one of her students ended up going through a young entrepreneurship market, inspiring Saidah to return to entrepreneurship herself.
In 2018, Saidah began here home-based business again. She worked hard to conceptualize a marshmallow product which states came from her bakery: “One of my best-selling products at Olivia Rose were these s’more survival kits, so I decided to expand on it for my new concept.” In 2019, she opened up Marshmallow of the Month Club through e-commerce, manufacturing all of her products herself in Christ Episcopal Church’s commercial kitchen right here in Shaker.
Saidah is a Shaker transplant. Living in New York and then Georgia, she wanted a place to raise her family and send her kids to a good school. She found Shaker and was thrilled to be able to send her kids to Shaker Schools: “I love to say it: I’m a Shaker mom!” Shaker remains the only place Saidah has called home longer than 3 years in her entire life. Going on 14 plus years, she’s delighted to say this is her community for both her business and her family, and we’re delighted to say it too!
When it comes to owning a small business, Saidah says she she’s grateful to be able to make her own schedule, make her own decisions, and, above all, build relationships with her customers. The challenges include inflation costs: “Everyone wants to use quality ingredients and so you have to make decisions like what to include when it comes to products. You have to accommodate for pricing and the cost of shipping and determine if your price is right in the market too.”
It’s all a learning process and Saidah employed herself as student throughout all of her ventures. Her ability to consistently learn contributes to her success as a business. Her advice to anyone wanting to start their own business is to not start their own business, rather, “learn how to start a small business and implement along the way. If you have an idea, validate that idea in the market.” Once you’ve established that there is a desire for that idea within the market, she identifies marketing that product being of principle importance and really studying that target audience. Being able to collect data and analyze data also made Saidah learn more about the way her business would operate.
Marshmallow of the Month Club still operates mostly through e-commerce but she also rotates her products in and out of the Corner at the Van Aken District, having participated in the Entrepreneurial Initiative cohort. She recently launched on Amazon, selling her incredible cocoa (Joy Craft cocoa), and will participate in local holiday events including the Corner’s Thanksgiving dessert table on November 23 and the Corner’s celebration of Small Business Saturday weekend on November 26 and November 27.
You can visit marshmallowoftheclub.com for more information or to purchase some amazing marshmallows! Be sure to follow them on Instagram: @marshmallowofthemonthclub. Warning: you will want to try every marshmallow after looking at these photos, and, fun fact: Saidah is a fan of food photography and photographs all of her product photos herself!