David M. Benett/Getty; Courtesy Boomf
He may never be royal, but James Middleton, the 26-year-old younger brother of Kate Middleton, is involved in something royally awesome.
He’s the creator of Boomf, a company that prints Instagram images onto the deliciously fluffy treats — and fans might argue that a knighthood is in order (Hey Sis, any chance you can work some magic there?).
In an interview with The Cut, Middleton says that his obsession with the “pillows of sweetness” runs deep. But that this love only bloomed recently when he developed a printing technique using edible inks and was trying to find the perfect food to print onto.
“I looked at different products we could do, and the marshmallows were the most fun to develop,” he says. “There’s so much fun we can have with it, because you can give them to somebody that’s been dumped by their boyfriend, so they can burn their ex on a campfire, or you can have your ideal person dunked in hot chocolate, and you can give them to your grandmother.”
What’s been especially fun for the self-described “new age Willy Wonka” is perfecting the process, which has taken time and lots and lots of marshmallow mop-downs. “I encourage anybody to do it — just prepare yourself for a mess,” he says. “But, just seeing the marshmallow fluff start to turn fluffy, it’s just — it gets stuck over there, it gets stuck over here, it’s stuck over here — I really enjoyed it.”
Sure, making a mess is easy, but having the patience to sit back and let marshmallows puff-up, that takes Marshmallow Man strength.
“You have to leave the marshmallows to set in the region of six to eight hours, depending on humidity, and so I’d be there and two hours later I’d come back — so there’d always be finger marks, because I’d be checking to see if they were set,” he says. “The first batch I made, well, I’ll never forget it, because they actually tasted like marshmallows. I was quite happy about it.”
Middleton says that he actually made the first thousand or so orders at his factory, and that he continues to taste test every batch (“I’ve got to renew my gym membership,” he admits).
It seems his famous family have found confidence in their boy’s latest venture, which he reveals they were a bit skeptical of at first. “I remember seeing [my parents] that one weekend and saying, ‘Look what I’m working on,’ and the look on their faces was just sort of like, ‘What’s he doing this time?’” (In its first three months of business, Boomf sold 100,000 British pounds worth of marshmallows, about $122,000.)
Now, the Middletons seem to be onboard the marshmallow express. “I think my family knows that I’m slightly off the wall with my way of thinking, so I think they’re quite used to my weird and wonderful creations,” he tells The Cut, adding that Prince George is still too young to partake in the puffiness.
For $26 (including shipping), nine screen-printed marshmallows will arrive at your door. And, the clouds in Middleton’s marshmallow dreams are big. Next up for the company is Boomf on Demand, a storefront that prints your images on the treats in minutes. He also has his sights set on a photo booth that takes your photo and then slaps them on the candy.
“If Willy Wonka was being written about today, Boomf marshmallows would absolutely be in it,” he says. “Forget lickable wallpaper or an edible house: This machine would be there.”