Feeding our appetite for traditional handmade confectionery, this multi award-winning business produces over 3000 bags of sweet stuff a week! Co-founder, Jenny Silverthorne-Wright, tells us about the joys of proper honeycomb and why the new Cotswold Gin Fudge is so popular...
What is so special about your fudges?
Ours are hand-made using traditional recipes. This means it is like proper old-fashioned, homemade fudge, rather than the mass-produced soft sort, or the type of American-style fudge which has a very short shelf life and needs to be kept in the fridge.
You’ve won lots of awards for your fudges – tell us about these?
The following products have won Great Taste Awards: Crumbly Tablet, Smooth Vanilla Fudge, Peanut Brittle, Smooth Raspberry Split Fudge. Last year we won a Gold Award for the Best Fairtrade Product in the Southwest Fairtrade Business Awards and in 2017 we were the winner of the Best Fairtrade Retailer Award in the Southwest Fairtrade Business Awards.
Why is it important for to you to use Fairtrade products?
We have always been 100% committed to the principles of Fairtrade, ensuring that the producers at the bottom end of the supply chain are paid a fair price for their labour.
What is the secret to making good fudge?
Patience in the first instance, consistency, and experience, as so much of it depends on intuition and what you know. Fudge is essentially sugar, milk and butter boiled to a high temperature and then crystalised: it is one of those things that seems deceptively easy, but if you get any of the process, temperatures or timings wrong it can spell disaster. Somebody once said making fudge is like alchemy. I think they were right!
What is your most popular flavour?
Traditional Butter Fudge outsells all the others because a lot of buyers of fudge just don’t want their fudge messed with. My favourite is Coffee and Walnut or Baileys – depending on my mood! We now produce about 3000 bags of fudge a week.
You’ve developed a Cotswolds Gin Fudge – how did this come about?
We are located relatively close to the Cotswolds Distillery so it made sense to work in partnership with them – we decided to use their gin in our fudge because gin is so popular at the moment. We also make fudge for them using some of their liqueurs which they sell under their brand in their gift shop. So it really is a reciprocal arrangement, and Cotswolds Gin Fudge is definitely a hit with our customers!
You also make Honeycomb and Posh Brittles – what are these and why did you decide to make them?
We specialise in making traditional confectionery which involves boiling sugar to very high temperatures. Once we had developed our fudge business, it seemed a natural progression to make Peanut Brittle and Honeycomb which involves cooking to a much higher temperature than fudge. The ingredients are similar although the recipe is a bit different, and it offers a bit more variety. And of course, the most important factor is that our customers like it – the honeycomb in particular is proving incredibly popular, probably because it is very difficult to buy good quality, premium honeycomb, made the old fashioned way by hand!
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