BONNE TERRE – It’s the city of &#8220Good Earth, Good People” but one family wants Bonne Terre to be known for something else: &#8220Great Fudge.”
The Chandlers opened their fudge shop next to their home on Friday. The fudge shop is located behind Holekamps at 303 North Division Street.
It’s a family-run business.
Mary Chandler (known to some as Betsy) makes the fudge. For her, the business isn’t just about making and selling the fudge, it’s about teaching life lessons to her daughters.
Shelby, 15, cleans the fudge machine. Madelyn, 11, sweeps and mops. Victoria, 8, is called &#8220Little Feet” because she carries stuff back and forth. The family will also help package the fudge.
Together, the family came up with the name for the shop and Dad, Dwayne, came up with the slogan, &#8220Good Earth, Good People, Great Fudge.”
Mary makes 40 different kinds including Splenda fudge. There’s tiger butter, which Shelby likes the best. Oreo, which is Madelyn’s favorite. Dreamsicle – Victoria’s favorite. Rocky Road – Dwayne’s favorite. Mary’s favorite is Maple Walnut.
Then, there’s also basic fudge, fudge with fresh fruit and seasonal fudge. Mary plans to make Valentine fudge and birthday fudge. For weddings, she can make vanilla or chocolate fudge-covered strawberries.
&#8220Each (kind of fudge) has such a unique flavor,” Mary said. &#8220They don’t taste like each other.”
Mary buys her fudge ingredients from Calico Cottage. Her pecans come from Georgia.
&#8220I only use the best stuff,” she said.
Mary said people can come in for a free sample. She also has a special going for the first month.
She had hoped to open before Christmas but is glad to be open before Valentine’s Day. She hopes to pair up with Dennis of Expressions by Dennis.
Mary said the great thing about fudge is it never goes bad. It may dry out, but it never goes bad. It should be stored at room temperature.
She’s excited about being able to make Splenda fudge.
&#8220It was important to me to have a high-quality diabetic candy made fresh,” she said. &#8220Everyone loves candy. Finding fresh-made candy with Splenda is next to impossible.”
Her family started working on the fudge shop about a year ago. They’ve also been remodeling their house at the same time.
&#8220I’m excited, glad to be open,” she said. &#8220It’s been a long time coming.”
The hours for the shop will be limited at first. The Chandlers have other jobs. Mary works as a registered nurse. And of course, the children have school.
Hours are 3:30 to 7 p.m. Wednesday through Friday; and 12:30 to 5 p.m., Saturday and Sunday. They do have a doorbell on the business if you’ve just missed them.
The Chandlers are proud of the shop’s design. They want going to the shop to be an experience.
Mary said they tried to stay with the old-time St. Joe Company look with a wide door and big windows. The ceiling is an old and uncommon tin design.
There’s also a piano in the shop. All three children play and customers may get to hear them practice. Shelby also plays guitar and Madelyn plays the fiddle.
The shelving is white. &#8220We went with white so we’ll know it’s clean,” Mary said.
In addition to the shop, she also has a trailer that she has already been using for fairs and festivals. She usually takes 10 kinds when she travels.
The Chandlers hope to have their Web site at http://www.chandlerfudge.com up and running in a few weeks. Customers can order online and fudge can be sent via UPS anywhere.
&#8220When you buy candy from the Chandlers you are going to enjoy it,” Mary said. &#8220You’re never going to have to worry about having good candy. It’s not going to be different every time.”