Corrin VanHorn and Joel Heerspink opened Fluff Buckets in Comstock Park in April.
Fifty-four flavors of cotton candy and other tasty treats at Fluff Buckets
Comstock Park area residents may have noticed a new business in Dwight Lydell Park by the post office. Owners Corin VanHorn and Joel Heerspink opened Fluff Buckets in April. It’s the place to go for cotton candy in buckets – 54 flavors of the tasty treat including blue raspberry, a customer favorite and top seller. Fluff Buckets sells primarily Michigan products including Michigan Fresh ice cream, Ice Box brand of ice cream bars, Smitten Mitten ice pops, and Palazzolo’s Artisan Dairy. They offer tasty specialties like Faygo floats and waffle cookies made fresh in the shop.
The business started in in 2019 when they began baking gluten free baked goods before shifting to cotton candy that offers a larger market compared to the niche market of gluten free baked goods. Heerspink and VanHorn built their brand by working the show circuit including street fairs, festivals and special events. They also sell wholesale and online. The Leland Avenue location became available and fit their needs.
More cotton candy flavors will likely be added.
“We like to experiment and come up with exotic flavors,” Heerspink said.
One unique flavor is Magically Delicious that tastes like Lucky Charms and Baja that tastes like Mountain Dew. A sampling of other flavors include watermelon and smores, birthday cake, blueberry donut and pina colada. Or there’s savory flavors like fried chicken, sweet onion, cheddar jalapeno and even coffee flavored cotton candy.
One ounce of sugar makes the cotton candy which is “less sugar than a soda,” VanHorn said.
The cotton candy buckets sell for $5 or three for $12. For $8 customers can Build a Bucket with their favorite cotton candy flavor, ice cream flavor and toppings. Build a Buckets are especially popular with kids.
More locations of Fluff Buckers are possible in the future.
“Our goal is to grow. That’s what our whole experience has been. How can we create an experience and how can we offer it to more people,” Heerspink said.
Fluff Buckets is open Tuesday – Saturday from 2- 8 p.m. and closed on Sunday and Monday.
Both VanHorn and Heerspink offer advice for would-be business owners.
“You have to believe in your ideas,” VanHorn said.
“Balance ideas to what is profitable. Be prepared to work all the time,” Heerspink said.
He said it’s likely that your first idea isn’t the best idea.
“Don’t be afraid to try and fail. Refine what you’re doing and keep going,” Heerspink said.
Fluff Buckets is “all self-funded and self-propelled,” with no small business loans or grants, VanHorn said.
For more information visit www.FluffBuckets.com.
-Karen Gentry (May 2023)