The Chicagoist will be launching later but in the meantime please enjoy our archives.

The First All-Marshmallow Cafe Is Coming To Rogers Park

By Anthony Todd in Food on May 23, 2017 5:53PM

A S'More from XO Marshmallows. Photo courtesy of XO Marshmallows.

"We were the kids who got a box of lucky charms and picked the marshmallows out to have our own separate cereal." That's how Lindzi Shanks, co-owner of Chicago's first all-marshmallow cafe, XO Marshmallow, describes her long-lived love of these sugary treats. She, along with her partner Kat Connor, are about to open their new business, and Rogers Park is about to get a lot sweeter.

Hopefully opening the first week of June, XO Marshmallow (located at Sheridan and Lunt) will showcase the handmade treats that Connor and Shanks have become famous for, along with some special cafe-only specialities to round out the menu. Think S'mores, hot chocolate and marshmallow cones.

Connor began working with marshmallows as a student, when she had to come up with an inexpensive way of making gifts for her large family. Her flavor-infused marshmallows were a huge hit, and eventually became a business. Now, you can buy marshmallows in flavors like bourbon, green tea, rose and lavender honey.

After a succesful Kickstarter campaign, the cafe was born. But how do you create an entire menu out of marshmallows?

"Marshmallows lend themselves to other products: s’mores, rice crispie treats, whoopie pies, hot chocolate," Shanks told us. "Those are the four other products people know and associate with marshmallows. For us, it was about expanding on those core items, and figuring out what can we do to put a twist on it that will intrigue people."

What does this look like in practice? How about a S'more taco, made with toasted marshmallows in a waffle cone, covered with whatever toppings (hot fudge, sprinkles) from their toppings bar. Or a marshmallow cone, an ice cream cone filled with decadent homemade marshmallow fluff. Or you could just grab a coffee or a hot chocolate and fill it full of their treats—hot chocolate with bourbon marshmallows, anyone?

The cafe isn't huge (the whole thing is only 700 square feet and sits 16 people) but it'll be chock full of sweetness and adorable details. "It’s going to be a very colorful marshmallow wonderland," Shanks saod. She's also optimistic about the future. "We definitely don’t expect this to be the last marshmallow cafe."