The Inspiring Story of Amy, U.S. Veteran and Artisan behind The Minnesota Marshmallow

Amy recalls the event that would shape the course of her life forever.  As she played on her elementary school playground, she remembers the loud and soaring jets above her.  Countless C-130 aircrafts flew over her school, as our Country faced one of its greatest tragedies, testing the hope and resilience of our country and its people.  She will never forget that day on 9/11.  That day, that event, seared in her heart the desire to serve our great Country.

Minnesota born and raised, Amy McMillan comes from a military family, as her dad proudly served in the U.S. Marines.  Her family’s support and encouragement planted a determination and drive to follow her dreams.  By her junior year of high school, Amy signed up for the United States Airforce and officially started her career after her senior year, in August of 2009.

Amy is now just shy of her twelve year mark in the Airforce.  During this time, she has been on the adventure of her life.  She started her training in Texas and Mississippi.  As her entire class was assigned to Italy, she somehow ended up in South Dakota!  Yet, she remembers her time fondly there, as the gateway to embracing all the great midwest outdoor activities, such as hunting, camping, four-wheeling, and even hockey!  After 2 years, Amy transferred to the Buckley Airforce base in Denver, CO.  Again, she submersed herself in the great outdoors, and continued her adventures at a base in Northern California.

After 8 years in, Amy applied to transfer to the 140th Fighter Wing in Duluth, MN, and snapped up the opportunity to find her way closer to home.  Family is an important aspect of her life, and one she doesn’t take for granted.  Throughout her career, they made a way to spend time with her.  Her brother would join her on countless outdoor adventures, and her mom even became a traveling nurse, able to take a job close to Amy while stationed in California.

A monumental time in her career was her seven month deployment in the Middle East being, hands down, one of the best experiences of her life.  From the camaraderie with her fellow team, to the immersion into another culture, she embraced every moment.  Even with her rigorous schedule, she was able to further her education and enjoy her life around her.  It’s the little things that she holds with her, like the amazing people, food, and fresh juice stands.

Coming home to Minnesota was a great reminder of all the beautiful things she missed, like the midwest clouds in the sky, native trees, and even the squirrels scampering about.  With so much time away, she does not take for granted the time she now has to spend with family and friends.  With the past 4 years stationed in Duluth, another dream has been bubbling in her heart that, at its root, is a beautiful way to bring people together to enjoy the simple pleasures of Life.

The Minnesota Marshmallow was born out of her dream to open her own restaurant, with the theme of enjoying the great outdoors together.  She loves all things Minnesota, like campfires and s’mores, which led her to the inspiration to create mouthwatering, celebration worthy, memory making  marshmallows!  After a lot of schematics and brainstorming, with the encouragement of her friends, she decided to get in the kitchen and start creating.  Her marshmallows have become such a hit, as her love of creating new flavors has grown, that she is now moving into a traditional role with the Airforce, and is pursuing her Minnesota Marshmallow Business full time.

When asked what her favorite flavor is to date, she would say her Moose Tracks Marshmallow, inspired by her favorite ice cream.  They are the perfect solution to a sweet craving.  Sea Salt Caramel is another favorite, which she enjoys best over the campfire, as it likens the texture and flavor to that of a creme brulee.  Her top three favorite ways to enjoy her marshmallows are the classic s’more, on top of brownies, and popping them in her mouth straight from the microwave, which she has down to a calculated science!

Amy believes a lot of her success is because of the incredible support of family, friends, and the local and regional small businesses that have come alongside her to coach and support her growing business.

Johnson’s Bakery of Duluth has supported her through the use of their industrial kitchen.  Mike and Jen’s Hot Cocoa has offered great advice and support, as well as countless other businesses offering support and sales of her incredible marshmallows.

If your mouth is watering by now, make sure you come down to Bailey Builds and Friends Storefront Saturday, July 3rd to support Amy in her venture while she does a pop-up in our extended store space.  You can also catch her at the Barkers Island 4th of July event in Superior, WI.  Find out more about Amy and The Minnesota Marshmallow at The Minnesota Marshmallow facebook page.