With only 2 more sleeps ’til Christmas we begin to cogitate the last 12 months. The Fudge Kitchen has seen some major changes in this the final year of the “noughties”.
With the aid of Ape, an independent design company from Brighton, we have undergone a colossal rebranding of all things fudge and this has resulted in an elegant style that has refreshed and unified the image of the whole company. Noticeably one of the biggest alterations has been the disappearance of Jim. Ape conducted a survey on our behalf and found that most who responded felt the important part of our brand was the delicious fudge and they felt little association with Jim. All packaging including bags, boxes and labels have been updated to fit this new look and so far the feedback has been overwhelmingly positive.
2009 has seen the Fudge Kitchen branch out quite dramatically in previously uncharted regions. The wholesale arm of the business – partly a catalyst behind our rebranding – has boomed substantially under the watchful eye of Nigel Phillips, formerly the manager of our Cambridge shop. Retailers both large and small have come on board the good ship fudge and helped us reach a much wider audience within the UK. Trade Exhibitions in Glasgow, Birmingham and London have brought in a wave of new delis, coffee shops and food halls wanting to stock our Fudge and 2010 looks set to be even busier still!
New for 2009 also was the introduction of our Make It At Home Kit. A unique pack that allows our customers to have a go at making our fudge in the safety of their own home. Again, the response to this has been phenomenal and sales have been steady through all mediums – in shop, wholesale outlets and internet sales.
October was an extremely hectic month with our annual fudge conference in Cambridge being even more debaucherous than ever. The Windsor Team were crowned top shop of 2009, Top Manager went to Lee Coaton from Cambridge and Top Team Member to Tania Silva, also from Windsor. Swiftly after we celebrated the opening of a brand new shop at 5 Broad Street in Oxford. So far this has been a rave success with the good folk of Oxford and we pray this continues on into 2010.
Being a relatively small business in the current economic climate has proven tricky as you can probably imagine but, even without the boost Chris Evans’ spontaneous visit to our shop in Windsor gave us last year, our mail order side of the business has thankfully continued to prosper mostly due to the continued and loyal support of you lovely fudge fans. We try our best to shake off the apparent dichotomy that exists nowadays saying quality and value can’t live side-by-side and, fingers-crossed, seem to be succeeding in doing so.
Here at the Fudge Kitchen we look forward to 2010 with much eagerness. In the year-to-come you will see the introduction of several new products including, but not limited to, a range of delicious fudge sauces. With the expansion of the wholesale side of the business more and more stockists near you will crop up selling our uniquely delicious fudge… And to cap it all off a shiny new website will be launched in the early part of 2010.
Phew! Now, where’s my drink…
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!