If you've visited the Burlington Farmer's Market before, chance's are you've walked past (or purchased something) from Nomadic Kitchen. The company was the brainchild of Alexx Shuman: a classically chef with a passion for entrepreneurship and making artisan-crafted marshmallows. Her business has branded her with the tagline "The Marshmallow Girl," an identify she holds near to her heart. 

Marshmallows were't always Alexx's trademark. She studied art history for several years before realizing that something was missing from her life: her love of food. She U-Turn-ed her career path and chose to study at the famous Le Cordon Bleu in France and later the New England Culinary Institute. But even that didn't satisfy her. "While I was adoring every minute of the learning, I found that working within the strictures of the industry was making me fall out of love with food," she says. "Unwilling to sacrifice such an integral part of my being, I left the industry, promising myself that I’d find a more innovative way to have food at the center of my life somewhere down the line."

She spent some time working in Boston, completed a brief food writing escapade, and found herself back in Vermont for the holidays. She offered to make marshmallows for her family and instantly found herself in a web of curiosities and exploration. "[I saw] this deeply nostalgic treat as a relatively unexplored vehicle for flavor, something I could really play with, something I could truly make new." Within three days, she set up an online store, tuned three recipes, and waited for customers to bite. 

Alexx set the bar low, expecting most of the orders to come from family and friends. To her surprise, orders came in from around the country. She worked tirelessly for almost a week to make and ship orders- an experience that left her more fulfilled than her prior years of experience working in the food industry. 

Since the dawn of Nomadic Kitchen, Alexx has experimented with fun flavors like Dulce de Leche (her arguable favorite), Battered Rum, Blueberry Lemon Thyme, and Toasty Vanilla. The seasons are often a powerful inspiration for her concoctions; she plans to integrate Gin & Apricot, Pink Grapefruit & Tarragon, and possibly black pepper into her lineup soon.

While her business experience has provided many years of personal fulfillment, Alexx admits it hasn't been easy. It's also taught her more about herself than she expected. "I can now rapidly recognize the resistance that indicates growth versus the resistance that indicates I’m headed down an unaligned path, and redirect accordingly." For Alexx, growth has meant change, asking for help, and sailing into uncharted waters. As a female-identifying individual, this has also meant treading a course that wasn't necessarily built for her. 

In short, Nomadic Kitchen has taught Alexx how to be deliberate, but stay soft at her edges. Although her prior experiences in food have pushed her to tense up and follow the "mold" of entrepreneurial success, Alexx is defying these expectations in favor of personal growth and fulfillment. "I’ve got five words- love, adventure, creativity, balance, and growth—that I use to guide me," she reflects. "If those five words feel ticked off, then I know I’m successful." 

You can purchase Nomadic Kitchen's marshmallows from their website