Tag Archives: Mitchmallows

LIC’s Entrepreneur Space: Helping businesses grow for the past three years


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Photos Courtesy of Entrepreneur Space

For the past three years the Entrepreneur Space in Long Island City has been that light at the end of the tunnel for many aspiring self-starters looking to get into the food business.

The Entrepreneur Space, located at 36-46 37th St., is a 5,500-square-foot food and business incubator available for clients to rent by shifts, on a 24/7 basis, for a “low cost.” The space is administered by the Queens Economic Development Corporation and funded by the New York City Economic Development Corporation.

“There are people out there that want to [start] their own business and running a food business legally cannot be done from your home kitchen,” said Kathrine Gregory, founder of the Entrepreneur Space. “What we are doing is we are taking people out of their home kitchen and giving them an opportunity to grow a business [at] their own pace.”

The space offers clients a professional kitchen atmosphere, which includes equipment such as commercial mixers, a hearth oven, small wares and pans, a freezer, and cold and dry storage. Clients bring any ingredients or packaging needed. A client assistant is also available to help the clients with any tasks.

“We always have staff in the kitchen,” said Gregory. “You aren’t in the kitchen by yourself. You don’t have to worry about something going wrong.”

There are also classrooms and conference rooms available to rent for meetings, teaching and small or large events.

Since starting in 2011, over 400 aspiring business men and women, who Gregory calls “food-preneurs,” have come through the Entrepreneur Space. Some realized starting a food business was not for them, while others continued creating their treats.

One business that has been with the space since the very beginning is MitchMallows, which offers handcrafted marshmallows with unique flavors, such as churros and ginger wasabi.

“It was a godsend that the Entrepreneur Space even exists, otherwise a business like mine would have no home,” said Mitch Greenberg, owner and head chef of MitchMallows. “It’s the perfect solution to start up culinary businesses like mine. My business keeps growing and everyone at the kitchen is terrific to work with.”

The Entrepreneur Space celebrated its third anniversary on Feb. 11, with about 40 clients displaying and selling their products.

The celebration’s theme commemorated the 1939 and 1964 World’s Fairs, where the Belgian Waffle made its debut. MariePaule Vermersch, daughter of the originator of the waffle in the U.S., was on hand to make waffles with the requisite powdered sugar, whipped cream and strawberries.

The event was sponsored by Coffeed, Fairway, Fortune Society and Square Wine & Spirits.

“It feels really great, I can’t believe it has been three years,” said Gregory. “The best part comes back to the people who come in with their dreams and now they see a light at the end of the tunnel and they see how they can do it. That’s the exciting part; that’s the inspiring part.”

 

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Marshmallows transformed in Long Island City


| aaltman@queenscourier.com

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Biting into a fluffy, white marshmallow, Mitchell Greenberg became wonderstruck.

“Gee, I wonder how you make marshmallows,” he thought, examining the squishy mass resting in his fingers.

The sweetness beckoned. Curious, Greenberg bolted to a store, gathering the necessary ingredients: sugar, light corn syrup and gelatin. With Google-found recipes as his guide, the candy novice mixed his first batch.

Delicious.

Over the next few months, Greenberg experimented with flavors. First vanilla, then chocolate, then toasted coconut. As his recipe repertoire grew, he shared the treats with friends and family, who gobbled them up and craved more.

At that moment, they were no longer marshmallows. They were Mitchmallows.

Greenberg, a circus clown turned television set designer turned confectionery connoisseur, crafts creatively flavored, handmade marshmallows from his Long Island City kitchen.

Born in Brooklyn’s Borough Park, Greenberg grew up in suburban Rockland County. Returning to the city years later, he enrolled in New York University’s design program before deferring after several years to attend Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey clown college. Along with 32 other circus hopefuls, Greenberg studied acrobatics, physical comedy and juggling. In 1971, he graduated from clown college, returning to finish his design degree at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh.

After graduating, Greenberg designed sets for television shows, creating scenescapes for the “Miss America Pageant,” “The Daily Show,” “Washington Week in Review” and the “Kids’ Choice Awards.”

Clowning granted Greenberg the level of silliness needed to make marshmallows. His design background provided a creative eye towards graphics, logos and a brand look, applying a unique sensibility to create something never seen before.

Vanilla, chocolate and toasted coconut became ginger wasabi and pretzels and beer.

The magic, he says, is seeing what kinds of flavors you can create.

Currently, Greenberg is experimenting with a mimosa flavor – part champagne, part orange juice.

During Thanksgiving, he developed a gravy marshmallow that turned out tasty. For Passover, he crafted a Manischewitz wine flavored treat, called Mallowschewitz, and a horseradish marshmallow, bursting with a unique spiciness.

The chicken soup marshmallow, however, did not work out so well.

After tinkering with formulas for a year, fashioning the ideal marshmallow and perfecting the vibe of the company, Greenberg launched into the public in January 2011 under the moniker Mitchmallows.

“It’s kind of the time for a new era of marshmallow,” said Greenberg. “We’ve been cookied and cupcaked for awhile now and we’re ready for something new. I think marshmallows are the perfect thing to take that place.”

Greenberg concocts his treats in his studio at the Entrepreneur Space, a kitchen-filled colony and home to 200 culinary companies, without which Greenberg says Mitchmallows would cease to exist. From his online store, Greenberg ships his marshmallows to fans all over the country, custom creating candies for college graduations and sweet sixteen shindigs.

Mitchmallows now boasts 36 flavors.

He feels the business has reached the point where his product is ready to be sold wholesale to candy stores and retailers.

Greenberg dreams of owning his own food truck – the perfect vehicle that lends itself to the silliness of marshmallows. On cold winter days, he would serve cups of piping hot cocoa, garnished with a peppermint or chili-chocolate marshmallow. In the summer, patrons could grab gooey s’mores, reminiscent of campfire days.

Candy is memories, Greenberg says, hopeful that soon, Mitchmallows will also be synonymous.