Granny Shaw’s Fudge, an award-winning manufacturer of original and flavoured fudges, has expanded its product portfolio to include authentic Victorian confectionery.
The family business, which is owned and managed by husband-and-wife team Glen and Rhonda Houston, is developing the new confectionery product capability using recipes from the 19th century and has recently completed a £50,000 investment in essential machinery from a manufacturer based in Chicago.
The small business also includes Granny Shaw’s Trading Post, a retail outlet in Ballymena selling the company’s extensive fudge range alongside food and drink from local artisans. Both the business names and the recipe behind its fudge come from Rhona’s grandmother.
“We had been considering how best to expand our existing and successful fudge business when I came across a batch of Victorian confectionery recipes in line with our existing focus on premium products,” said Glen Houston.
“We subsequently experimented with the recipes and produced a small batch sample for family and friends to sample. Positive reactions to the samples encouraged me to explore how we could produce them for both local and export markets.”
Creator of the first genuine fudge factory in Northern Ireland, Houston researched flexible systems to manufacture premium quality confectionery.
“The new equipment enables us to produce a wide range of premium confectionery quickly and cost-effectively in attractive packaging.
“Our first batch of new sweets are likely to include tablet fudge from an old-style recipe that dates back to the 1860s. There’s also scope to manufacture dipping sauces and hard sweets.
“The new confectionery, like our fudge, will be handmade using the freshest ingredients. In addition to growing sales here, the company also receives orders for fudge regularly from international customers.”
Mid and East Antrim Council encouraged the venture by helping it find a suitable factory in Broughshane.
The company has won a Great Taste award for its handmade, hand-cut kettle-churned soft fudge and traditional made tablet fudge. It has developed a broad range of flavours included salted caramel, chocolate, raspberry ripple and bubblegum in a variety of bag sizes.
A vegan and dairy-free range of fudge and tablet will also be launched in the next few months.