Ever since founding Artizan Fudge, many people ask me the same question:
The answer is not so simple. My official fudge journey began in 2014, but its roots have been cultivating ever since I was a child.
Growing up I always had a fascination with fudge, an almost magical sweet treat that I could only get on very special occasions. It simply wasn’t a common sweet that you saw in many shops and its appeal laid dormant until I decided to buy a very special gift that unexpectedly altered the course of my life!
This brings us to the winter of 2014 when the story of Artizan Fudge truly begins. I spent many hours looking online to find the perfect gift for my parents as a housewarming present. After much scrolling and close examination of various product reviews I was swayed to buy a large basket filled with different varieties of fudge. This basket invoked all of my childhood fondness and excitement for this magnificent British confectionary staple. I was sold on the beautiful presentation and allure that this fudge basket promised.
However, when I received it and proudly presented it to my parents, the initial excitement was quickly deflated when it came to what should have been the most enjoyable aspect: the taste! . It was everything fudge, or should I say Artizan Fudge, shouldn’t be, hard, chewy, and tasteless. I was so disappointed I did what I always do when it comes to food fails and looked up fudge recipes on Google to see if I could do better.
I took my research very seriously! Comparing and contrasting many different types of techniques, ingredients, textures and flavours. I settled on a rough idea of what I wanted my fudge to be and experimented with a basic plain fudge. The result was everything I could have dreamed of and more! For a first attempt, it came out looking far more professional than I could have imagined, and more importantly tasted as I always wanted it to: deliciously creamy with an incredible smooth and soft texture that just melts in the mouth, with no chemicals or additives to ruin what should be a pure natural product. Little did I realise that I had made my first flavour; classic fudge.
“I could have stopped there after successfully achieving my goal of making fudge that tasted better than the fudge I’d ordered on-line”
but I chose to delve deeper into my fudge obsession. I wanted to make it again but see if I could tweak a few elements to reduce the sugar and experiment with a few simple additions or substitutions to make other flavours. From this I made White Chocolate Vanilla, Dark Chocolate, and Coffee fudge. For the next year or so, I spent the majority of my office job day-dreaming about starting up my own fudge business as well as new more ambitious flavour ideas. I even started selling the few flavours I had on my eBay account under the name ‘Deluxe Fudge’. I consistently received good feedback from my few (but loyal) customers as well as friends and family who kept giving me encouragement to please make more! However no one knew how far these words of encouragement would take my Fudge making hobby.
By the start of 2016 I had decided to give my pipe dream a proper try and took the jump to attempt to turn a hobby of making home-made fudge into a small business. I spent weeks and months looking at new flavours, packaging ideas, branding names and logos. Finding a name was the hard part as most fudge related brand names were already taken. After a conversation with my mum who suggested I find a name that sounded artisan I had a brainwave and thought instead of finding a word that had the associations of artisanal I would call it just that, and swap the S for a Z! By Autumn of 2016, I had increased my flavours to 10, including more unusual and funky flavours such as Double Chocolate Mint, Ginger, and Chilli. I felt ready to put my name/brand out there for the public to try.
Living in Muswell Hill also played a crucial part in the evolution of Artizan Fudge. I was stocked at the wonderful W Martin and Tony’s Continental which massively helped to kickstart my branding exposure and introduce the Muswell Hill and East Finchley neighbourhood to their brand new local fudge proprietor. But the real test was my first ever Farmers Market experience at the famous Alexandra Palace market in November 2016. I was very nervous going into it knowing that if I didn’t have a successful day, that could be the end of my fudge journey. Fortunately, it was a huge success and I’m proud to say I have been trading there ever since. After the success of my first few months and a very busy Christmas period I went into 2017 with even more ideas to try out… Aiming to continue the development of my small business. I expanded my flavour selection to 20, including Chai, Pistachio and Whisky, as well as increased the amount of farmers markets, and food festivals I traded at. And I have continued this trend since then, introducing more flavours including the much requested vegan flavour Coconut Cream as well as the ever popular best seller Salted Caramel.
I hope that Artizan Fudge will continue to grow and develop whilst maintaining the key principles that inspired me to make fudge in the beginning. Every piece of Artizan Fudge will be hand-made, preservative and additive free, with a soft, creamy texture and packed full of flavour. All to create an unforgettable fudge experience that can make every bite as magical as it tasted for me when I was a young boy.
Founder of Artizan Fudge