It all began when I made someone a bag of fudge as a present and they said 'Oh my goodness Rachel, this is the best fudge I have ever tasted!You should sell it!' So I took their words quite literally and decided to do just that, sell it. I got thinking about different flavours I could make and got quite carried away with the endless possbilities, just wanting to make them all straight away because I wanted to eat them! I decided that in order to make my fudge unique and not like any other fudge out there, I would base the flavours on well known chocolate bars and desserts, but without using any of the actual products themselves, just their flavours. For example, snickers fudge is a caramel based fudge sandwiched with a layer of homemade peanut nougat and topped with milk chocolate. It has never seen a snickers bar in its life, just its flavours! Again, Apple Crumble fudge is a cinnamon flavoured fudge, packed with nuggets of dried apple and topped with chunks of homemade crumble. I always keep the flavours up to date with the time of the year, which keeps the ideas fresh and enables me to continue recipe developing. My current favourite for Christmas is Mince Pie flavour, with people being shocked that its never touched a mince pie and exclaiming that it tastes exactly like one! All the fudge is made by me in my hygeine rated kitchen under the NMTF guidelines using only natural ingreidents with absolutely no artificial preservatives.
I have only sold the fudge at markets across London, but people always give me good feedback, from the way it tastes to the packaging and brand name. Sometimes people buy lots and other times I sell nothing! It can be disheartening when you have spent so long not only making the fudge but developing flavours, thinking of ways to make the stall look presentable, buying props for it and also spending a lot of money on having a stall itself and paying for travel to and from the market. Especially when you are paying for everything yourself. Unfortunately money does run out and I then have no chance to act on the good feedback and constuctive suggestions that people make.
The thought that I could possibly be selling my own handmade fudge on a large scale one day makes me so determined to continue selling and keep developing it, but the simple lack of money is the one and only obstacle standing in my way!
I learn so much from every market I do and I want to continue learning more, but the inability to even get to the markets sometimes is frustrating so prevents me from learning more. The fact that fudge is naturally gluten free has become an apparently popular factor in the current growing gluten free trend, but I am finding it hard to target the gluten free market let alone any market simply due to my inability to get to them!
I really do listen to all the feedback I get from my customers, which is proven by someone suggesting that I investigate Crowd Funding, so I am doing exactly that. It would be of such a huge benefit to me as it would allow me to travel to more markets, purchase further supplies for my products such as labels, bags and a banner which all contribute to the advertising of my product.
I hope that my sheer determination and utter passion for my delicious artisan product is enough for you to support me on my journey, so that you can one day see it on a shelf somewhere and have the satisfaction of saying 'I helped get that there!'
Fudge on a chrismas market stall. Flavours here are gingerbread and christmas pudding.
The original vanilla fudge being made.
A pile of snickers fudge.