“Artists observe what the rest of us only see.” - unknown
At the Fudge Shoppe, we swim in a sea of art, but not the kind you put on a wall, or display without touching.
To create an environment of creativity, innovation and diligence that is commercially sustainable finds us in a delicate dance. Since I began building and leading production teams thirty years ago, there have been two phrases I have frequently said and after saying them, have grown to appreciate.
“Everything is a gift,” and “We’re not painting the Mona Lisa.”represent two tensions we always manage, resolve and sometimes wander between.
“Everything is a gift."
Everything we make is a gift bought for someone else or the purchaser. Whether a person enjoys our chocolate in their car in our parking lot or flies it across the globe for someone else, a purchase in our store is an opportunity to be generous.
Our team members know each piece will be bought and enjoyed for the pleasure it brings to five senses. “Presentation,” is appreciation of so many categories related to sight. Our sense of smell when opening a box or letting a piece of chocolate linger under your nose before you put it into your mouth can place the world on pause. We might not notice but we enjoy hearing the crinkle of an old fashioned foil wrapper or even feeling the weight of the anticipated goodness.
And, oh, “taste” is more than a roll across the tongue, but can be full flavor, and mouthfeel, “nose,” and “finish.”
"We’re not painting the Mona Lisa."
We make beautiful stuff, but we have to make hundreds of each of them to survive. Any of our 7 ounce pretzel bags would be a delight, and our great production team makes 250 of those bags in a day. The truffles are worthy of extended admiration, but our team members have to delicately handle 1,000’s of them from start to finish WITH cleanup. We have to make a lot of that art.
But it’s still art, and at the core of what we do is a desire to be creative. So we constantly try to imagine, “How could we do this better?” Or “I wonder if people would like this more.” We redo boxes, explore ingredients and processes and are always ready to learn. Our retail store and website are in a steady dance of refinement and we are not beyond a “wow!” when someone in our organization NAILS it. Human flourishing and quality control are wings that lift our focus higher and keep us looking for the beautiful, the lovely, the remarkable and the achievable extraordinary. We’ll process where to put a price tag sticker to make it just right. We’ll cook a test batch ready to step into full production OR throw it out and start fresh all over again.
Art asks for and deserves extra attention, and we live better lives because we tried.
How about you?
Have you forgotten how restorative it can be to “create”? Have you noticed how reproducing a painting, a song, a dish or design you love, leads you to a deeper appreciation of the original art?
We would like to invite you into a Fudge Shoppe of Flemington, New Jersey themed art show. You might be at home with some extra time on your hands these days so let’s create some Fudge Shoppe themed pieces of art. Maybe pull up an image online, look at a picture you’ve taken recently or examine the piece of chocolate you are eating right now for inspiration. Breathe in deep, exhale, and create art in a way the rest of us can take it in.
On April 6th, three impartial judges will select their favorite works and the winners will be sent a delightful variety of Fudge Shoppe chocolates and goods. After you’ve crafted your design, post it on social media, tag us and use our hashtag #spreadlovesharechocolate.
Hmmmmmm… you have it in you… wake up that artist…
Professional candy maker of 31 years.
President of The Fudge Shoppe for 19 years.