LE SUEUR — We all know the soft pink color and nostalgic, sticky-sweet taste of traditional cotton candy. A staple at fairs, festivals and even some extra-special birthday parties, a childhood isn’t complete without that melt-in-your-mouth cloudlike confection. But what if cotton candy wasn’t just for kids – and what if it came in hundreds of exciting flavors like birthday cake, Mexican hot chocolate, apple pie, peach limeade or black licorice?
That’s the question that took Robin Seger of Le Sueur from researching cotton candy vendors for her town’s farmers market all the way to opening Froggy’s Cotton Candy Bar, a sugary wonderland for the young and young at heart.
“During COVID, we couldn’t find anyone full-time,” Seger said of finding vendors who make the sweet treat. Far from giving up in disappointment, Seger decided to try making the cotton candy herself. With the help of a purchased machine, Seger and her family brought 10 cotton candy flavors to the farmers market to gauge community interest. They instantly sold out. Once the market ended for the season, they found themselves booked for private and holiday parties until the end of November.
“People kept asking me, ‘When the market is over, how can we get your cotton candy?’” Seger said. “I didn’t want people coming to my house, so we started searching for a location and things kind of fell into place.”
Seger found an open building on North Main Street and started renovations in October with the goal of opening January 1st of this year. Community support for the new venture was high, to say the least.
“We kept having people stopping and asking if we were open yet, so we opened December 19th instead of January first,” said Seger with a laugh. “We weren’t even fully operational the way I wanted to be, but we could operate the cotton candy machine for customers!”
One of Froggy’s biggest draws is the texture and flavor of the made-to-order cotton candy. Traditional cotton candy tends to leave tiny crystals of sugar behind, creating a grainy-mouthfeel. At Froggy’s, the cotton candy melts away, leaving only a sweet aftertaste behind.
Thanks to some tasty experimentation, Seger and her family discovered that almost any non-milk-based hard candy can be used as the building block for their cotton candy. The realization opened the door to countless varieties.
“We’re up to 130 flavors of cotton candy and we probably have 70 more in the works,” Seger said. Most varieties are available upon request at their storefront, although some are only available seasonally. Seger also dreamed up Froggy’s Cotton Candy Club, a monthly subscription service that ships candy-lovers the month’s cotton candy special as well as a surprise flavor.
Since its grand opening, Froggy’s has expanded its merchandise to include other fair favorites and sweet treats. Visitors can expect fresh-squeezed lemonade and funnel cakes, mini donuts, ice cream and shaved ice. For her regulars who enjoy stopping by in the morning to chat with friends, Seger offers hot and iced coffee as well as a selection of daily pastries.
The customers can’t seem to get enough – and Seger can’t get enough of her customers. She said she loves watching the smiles on people’s faces as they try a new flavor and seeing a first-time customer become a weekly visitor.
“One of my favorite memories is of a customer that comes in once a month or so with her two adorable little kids,” Seger said. “Once, after we had just won an international award for the best Midwest gourmet sweet shop, they found a pink frog that said, ‘You’re #1!” and brought it to me.”
Maggie Wheeler is a regular Froggy’s customer who loves cotton candy as much as her kids do.
“I don’t think I’ve had a flavor that I don’t like,” Wheeler said. “My daughter likes the banana flavor, and my son really likes anything (Seger) colors green.”
Wheeler first heard about Froggy’s through a friend who visited the sweet shop with her children and posted about it on Facebook. During her first visit, Wheeler said that she was struck by Seger’s warm and friendly welcome to every visitor and impressed by the size of the treats.
“The cotton candy is huge!” she said. “Compared to state fair or county fair candy, it’s probably either double or triple the size.”
Aided by a happy atmosphere and quality desserts and snacks, Froggy’s is quickly becoming a hot destination for locals and out-of-town visitors. In terms of future plans, Seger said that she and her husband like to think big.
Her dream is to someday be as busy as Minnesota’s Largest Candy Store in Jordan.
Holiday parties, new and delicious offerings, and visits from crowd favorites like Santa Claus and Captain Jack Sparrow are
all in the works.
“My goal is really just to bring smiles to the kids and give them something they don’t expect,” Seger said.