Not everyone could cook up the idea for a business overnight. But that’s pretty much what Milly did. On the back of Covid-19 and the subsequent fallout, Milly was looking for a new opportunity. A chance discussion with her partner and an innocent little ‘for lease’ sign was pretty much all it took…
“In a past life, my partner was a fudge and chocolate maker,” explains Milly from behind the counter in her neat little retail space in Waikuku’s Old School Collective. “One day he was reminiscing and saying how he would love to make fudge again but didn’t feel excited about the selling side of it. So I piped up and said ‘I could sell it’. And here we are.”
The couple sure know how to play to their strengths. Firstly, the fudge: stacks of generous squares are displayed beautifully beneath the glass counter, some with swirls, some shimmering, others with an unexpected yet ingenious biscuit base. Over 10 flavours are in circulation including crème brulee, ginger crunch, boysenberry and white chocolate, rum and raisin and chocolate afghan. School holidays bring out delights such as goody-goody gum drops fudge and licorice lolly fudge. And for the traditional fudge lovers there are of course the good old favourites like chocolate and Russian. All hand made in North Canterbury each flavour is as divine and dangerously moreish as the next.
And then there’s Milly’s knack at sales. She keeps up a friendly banter with each customer, never pushy, yet always encouraging. She hands out generous taste tests and gives instructions on how best to store and share your fudge purchases. She gently points out the shop’s other offerings including beautiful handmade chocolates from Christchurch chocolatiers De Spa, tins and jars of old-fashioned boiled sweets, and scoops of Kapiti icecream. And she carefully packages up each purchase, sending customers on their way with a smile and the anticipation of a delicious treat tucked into their bag.
Why North Canterbury? We had a caravan at a beach in North Canterbury and one day saw an open home sign, and thought let’s have a look… We bought the house and have never regretted it. Love the lifestyle and not being in the city.
What is your favourite thing to do in North Canterbury? Just enjoying listening to the birds and hearing the ocean in our backyard. And I love gardening, which is just as well as we have plenty of it!!
Name your top three North Canterbury brands (other than your own!): This is easy and in no particular order: Kells Kitchen in Amberley (fantastic food, excellent service, and plenty of parking). Railway Tavern Bar, Amberley – the best fish and chips ever! (you can ring and place your order, easy!). Mr Yunan in Hanmer Springs, Thai Restaurant (they deliver to your motel, great service and really awesome food).