Halal Marshmallows at Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory, Square One
Halal Marshmallows at Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory, Square One Shopping Mall.
When I first reverted to Islam many years ago, everything changed for the better, alhamdulillah. The process was natural and things many label as inconveniences or chores, were met organically and with surprising ease. Not to say that changing my faith was a walk in the park, but I believe that with great adversity comes great reward inshaAllah.
One of the challenges that I did encounter, that I wasn’t really expecting or even considered preparing for, was food.
Growing up, I had no idea of the different types of animal by-product out there or wasn’t concerned at all with any other ingredients either.
All of a sudden, I was overwhelmed with ingredients, cross contamination, calling manufacturers and cross-examining waiters and waitresses at restaurants. I had turned into a tyrant on a halal food rampage. After some time and education, this process became less intrusive and more systematic. However, let’s be honest here; I still miss eating Lucky Charms cereal!
The above satirical tweet initially made me laugh, and then made me think; the reality is that there’s a huge audience that completely relates. We are a strong and under served market of halal food enthusiasts. We are demanding more as consumers. Let’s hope brands and companies are listening!
You can easily find and purchase halal marshmallows that are made from beef gelatin these days vs. let’s say around thirteen years ago when I was a new Muslim desperately seeking them. But I find that the evolution of halal products is slow and has many deficiencies.
Twitter has opened many doors for me, many halal food ones, and that’s how I came across Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory in Square One. Bonnie and her family own this location and they use White Circle brand halal marshmallow from Greenworld for some of their marshmallow products.
Bonnie answered all of my questions (and I had many) with total transparency. She recently sponsored Halalfoodie’s one year anniversary giveaway for Facebook and Twitter fans. Five winners each received chocolate covered halal marshmallows delivered right to their doorstep. She was also kind enough to answer some questions so that our readers could learn more about her store and what she offers.
Note: the answers in this interview are only for Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory in Square One Mall as they are a franchise and each store is locally owned.
HF: What gave you the idea to have halal marshmallows available in your store?
RMCF: The idea came from to me after we were open for about a year or so. I noticed that certain parents would not let their children buy the marshmallow sticks but would let them have anything else pretty well. One day I asked a lady why they could not have the marshmallows and she told me about the pork gelatin ingredient. I had no idea they contained that ingredient. I then decided to research finding ones that were Halal. None of my regular suppliers carried them but I did find Greenworld in Oakville who carried them. Since we live in Oakville, I can just drop over to their warehouse now and then and get a case or 2.
HF: What is your best-selling halal item?
RMCF: Our best-selling item are the marshmallow sticks dipped in chocolate and rolled in sprinkles.
HF: How do you keep cross contamination issues in check?
RMCF: We use the brand White Circle marshmallows from Greenworld in Oakville. We do carry regular marshmallows as well but they are kept in separate bins and are displayed on separate trays in the store from the regular ones with one shelf in between them. The shape and size of the halal ones are quite different from the regular ones so it is very obvious to our staff which one is which.
HF: What other products does your store specialize in?
RMCF: Our store also is very famous for our gourmet caramel apples in dozens of varieties. Also our boxes of assorted chocolates do not contain any alcohol or gelatin
HF: Are there any ingredients a Muslim should stay away from, anything containing alcohol or animal by-product (i.e. gelatin)?
RMCF: No items in our store contain any alcohol. sea-foam (sponge toffee) contains gelatin as do a few of our chocolates in the chocolate case that contain marshmallows and chocolate dipped sour keys. Our staff are well versed on what contains gelatin. All our ice cream is ok as well with the exception of Rocky Road flavour which contains mini marshmallows that are not halal. We have hundreds of items in our store and the marshmallows, sour keys and sponge toffee are the only ones that contain any gelatin. None of the chocolates or caramel apples, fudge etc contain any alcohol or gelatin.
HF: Do you take special orders? For example baby showers, wedding favours etc?
RMCF: We definitely take special orders and do birthday parties, weddings, showers etc
Thank you Bonnie — for your kindness and feeding us with your yummy halal marshmallows!
Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory in Square One Mall
100 City Centre Drive, Mississauga, ON
LOWER LEVEL, CENTREWALK