From a very young age I always loved making things.
I have memories of calling over to my nanny’s house and making toffee apples with her. I can imagine what it would have been like; runny caramel bubbling away on the hot stove and bright green apples all lined up with wooden sticks sticking up in the air.
When I was younger I also remember watching Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory for the first time in amazement. I loved how Willy Wonka had created everything from his own imagination. The scene when they open the door to the chocolate room had me in awe. I remember feeling so much wonder and magic at the sight of all that Willy Wonka had created.
As a teenager I was determined to become a famous chef. I used to try out different recipes and experiment in putting my own twist on them. I was so obsessed with cooking that when my nanny asked me what I’d like for Christmas I told her I wanted a pot! It was in this pot that I created my first ever batch of fudge. I had stumbled across the recipe from an Irish cook book and I ended up tweaking the recipe to give the fudge a light, crumbly texture.
My mum worked Saturdays in Arcadia Delicatessen, an independent delicatessen based in Belfast, and she suggested that I try to get my fudge sold there to get some pocket money. I remember going into the shop aged fourteen, very nervous, to show the owner my fudge. I was very happy when the owner said - 'just like my mammy used to make it' and that he would sell the fudge. I ended up getting a Saturday job in Arcadia and I loved getting to see customers buy what I had made. The fudge grew in popularity and I kept making fudge for Arcadia every few weeks for around four years.
The time then came to put my fudge making on hold as I set off to Edinburgh to study business management at university. Whilst away my mum would tell me how customers had kept asking for the fudge!
Four years of university completed I returned home to Belfast in 2016 and got a corporate job. Soon realising that it wasn’t for me I thought about what I could do in my life that I would enjoy and find rewarding. I remembered how the fudge I used to make for Arcadia Delicatessen sold so well and how customers had been asking for my fudge years after I’d stopped making it. So in 2017 I decided to give it my all and launch a confectionery brand solely focused on producing fudge.
I guess watching and rewatching Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory at a young age has been invaluable to me as it probably taught me that ‘anything you want to, do it’, that if you ‘want to change the world, there’s nothing to it’. Now, I’m realising my dream and I get to share my creations with the world. Like Willy Wonka I have the chance to create some magic in the world and be the maker I always loved to be.
10% of all our profits are donated to causes I think are important. Find out more.
I want to take the chance to thank everyone that has helped get the business to where it is today. To Clare, who's been there from the beginning, helping to package the fudge and being the rock I was able to bounce ideas and things off. To my Mum, who has always encouraged me and stood for hours at markets and events we took part in. To my Dad, who has always been there to make whatever I needed made, whether it be a table on which to package the fudge or a stand for our stall at markets. To my brother Steven, who designed the first of our websites and worked with me to create new packaging designs. And last but certainly not least, to my brother Robbie, who helped enormously in setting up this website.
Thanks for taking the time to read my story.