Success has been sweet for Kim Condon.
The 50-year-old Fly Creek resident began Toonie Moonie Organics, makers of organic marshmallow creme, more than 10 years ago.
“Marshmallow creme has been around since the early 1900s and the conventional brand is ‘Fluff,’ but my children were young at the time that I started thinking about developing the company and I was really passionate and careful about what I fed them,” Condon said. “We ate primarily organic, but we loved sweets and had a need for them in our lives.
“I would surf the internet and get a feel for what was available … and I discovered that there really was no organic version of marshmallow creme,” she said. “I started experimenting in my kitchen with different recipes and came up with one I thought was really good.”
Though attending food shows and collaborating with Cornell University to study formulas and shelf life helped prove Toonie Moonie’s market viability, Condon said, she opted to keep her concept on the back burner.
“I had turned my garage into a certified-organic kitchen and I went to the largest organic food show in the world (in Chicago),” she said. “The response was huge and people were asking me to ship it to other countries in drums. I learned that it was not only a product that (consumers) would purchase, but also an ingredient, but I ultimately chose to take a break and focus on my family for several years.”
Condon said she came back to Toonie Moonie in earnest several years ago before landing at her 144 Roundhouse Road plant in Oneonta, where she heads an eight-person team.
“We started about three years ago at a manufacturing facility in Fly Creek, then made a strategic move to Oneonta,” she said. “I’m very passionate about inclusivity, so I created the kind of workplace where I’d want to work.”
Since recommitting to marshmallow creme, Condon said, the response locally, nationally and even internationally has been enthusiastic.
“It’s been growing really rapidly,” she said. “We are launching nationally with Whole Foods Market and we’re in Wegman’s. We’d been in the Northeast and mid-Atlantic for a couple of years, but now we’re in other regions across the country.
“It’s exciting to be in grocery store chains,” she said, “but I love working with the independents. Locally, we’re in Transitions Consignment Boutique, Shakedown Street, Annutto’s (Farm Stand) and Cooperstown Natural Foods. We’ve had some really good local partners.”
Next, Condon said, will be market expansion.
“We’ve had a lot of inquiries about exporting,” she said. “We’re looking to develop as a global brand, with new exporting partnerships and partnerships within the U.S. I definitely want to grow our brand name so that it’s recognizable and we have lots of new products that we want to introduce.”
Later this month, Condon said, Toonie Moonie will launch chocolate, banana and caramel flavors.
Condon, who called her typical customer “the health-conscious lover of sweets,” said part of Toonie Moonie’s appeal is its reminder of childhood.
“Marshmallow creme is a nostalgic product,” she said. “It’s a loved product and something people are passionate about. They want it, but won’t allow themselves to have it, because it is so full of artificial ingredients. But eating healthy is not just fruits and vegetables; people love sweets and that’s not going to go away, so here’s a clean product that’s five ingredients and all organic.
“People are really focusing on what they’re eating and in particular what they’re feeding their children,” she said, “and there are so many concerns with allergies. We’re a gluten-, wheat- and nut-free facility, we’re vegetarian, dairy free and we’re getting our kosher certification.”
Condon said hearing customers share their love of marshmallow creme has been rewarding.
“It’s kind of developed a life of its own,” she said. “We’re the only ones in the world doing what we’re doing, so there’s a lot of interest. The fun part for me is hearing from the customers. I have binders full of emails and we get several calls a week from people that we like to say are ‘over the moon,’ and so excited to have found it.”
For more information or to order online, visit tooniemoonie.com, find “Toonie Moonie Organics” on Facebook or follow @tooniemoonie on Instagram.