Madison Gouzie is NOT a hot dog stand. Though tourists in downtown Portland often mistake him for one, in reality Madison is the purveyor of one of the city's most unique mobile food operations: The Marshmallow Cart. His streetside roasted s'mores are the perfect treat to keep your energy up as you shop the Old Port or as a sugary nightcap after dinner. He's also a former Subway Sandwich Artist and he loves a good clam cake, as he shared with us in this interview.
What was your first job?
I worked at Subway Sandwich Shops in Westbrook. I was a sandwich artist in high school. I was there until I went to college. My sandwiches looked the best - I took pride in making it look awesome.
How did you get involved with food work?
I was always in food work. After college I moved to Boston and picked up a bar gig at Legal Seafoods, which is corporate but has a great training program. I learned a lot about service. I attribute them to being able to execute what I do.
What motivates you to continue and grow your business?
The ability to connect with the community. It’s fun to be on the street - I’m part information booth, part marshmallow man. It’s really fun. I feel like I have a pulse on the city. People think I’m a hotdog stand.
Who are some food entrepreneurs that you admire?
The inventor of the milk and cookies shot. He also invented the cronut. A milk and cookies shot is a cookie shaped like a shot glass with a chocolate rim and you pour milk inside of it. His name is Dominique Ansel. Here’s why he’s awesome - he has fun with his food.
What’s your go-to weeknight dinner?
Definitely I revert, I need my beans and franks. Like, red hot dogs sauteed in the pan with a little molasses and some B&M beans. Plus you gotta have the brown bread from a can.
Where do you like to eat in Maine?
My whole life I’ve loved al fresco. If it’s wintertime and they have a seat outside, I’d still sit there. So, anywhere with an outdoor patio. I love people-watching. In the summertime, I will drive wherever. On that note, though, I just drove to Biddeford to get a clam cake burger with cheese at Rapid Ray's. There’s only 3 places to get them: Rapids Ray's, Harmon’s Lunch and Don’s Lunch. I love all three with equal affection.