Brian Morgan Interview
If you’re talking
fudge, you’re talking Morgan’s Fudge!!
It’s quite simply the Best Fudge around.
To understand why, you’ll just have to read the Brian Morgan Interview.
Q – Brian, who all is involved in Morgan’s
Fudge? Is that your co?
A – What it is, is my father Robert, my brother Eric and myself. I
don’t work the circuit (State Fair) like they do. I have a production
facility in Michigan. I make the fudge and I do wholesale. I do the distribution
Q – So, you can buy your fudge is stores then?
A – Oh, yes.
Q – Let’s start at the beginning. How
did your parents get started in the fudge business?
A – Well, about 30 years ago, and before that they owned a gas station,
up in Gaylord, Michigan. They were in that for 25 years. They wanted to
branch out into something else. At first they thought they’ll own
a restaurant, and Italian restaurant. They looked into that and the cost
of starting it up we’re prohibitive back then. So, we’re in
an area of the country where fudge is very popular, statistically Mackinac
Island Fudge. Gaylord is only about 60 miles from Mackinac Island, which
gets about 3 million visitors a year, by boat. From all over the world.
On Mackinac Island they have at least 18 fudge shops. In 1977, we approached
one of the owners of one of the shops there, a gentleman by the name of
Ray Fisher, who I believe has passed away. He had one of the original Mackinac
Island recipes, and he sold it to us, in, I believe May of 1977. He showed
us how to make it in a boiler, in the copper kettles, and pour it on the
marble slabs and how to loaf and spade it and how long it takes, and certain
techniques of flipping it in the air, which not everyone can do that. It
takes a lot of hand and eye coordination. So, that’s how they started
in ’77. After that, they went into a mall in the Detroit area. But
malls are kind of hostage to whatever management wants to charge you for
rent. If business doesn’t go very good, you still have to open up
everyday. That’s what we found. We were in a mall for about 2 years,
and just decided to get out of it. And then I think the first show we ever
did was the Florida State Fair, in 1980. Our first major show. In February
of 1980. It just kind of blossomed from there. From there they added on
the Kentucky State Fair, arts and craft shows. Now we’re in it full-time
Q – How long have you been with the co?
A – About 20 years. I also own my own business, separate from this.
It’s a computer business. And then I’m also a free lance writer
Q – Are there enough hours in the day for you
to do everything?
A – Not hardly, but, I’m a workaholic. I’m very active
in what I do. I enjoy it all. I like the fudge, and I like to promote it.
I handle the books and everything. And, I do make it and sell it. But, my
real love is writing as well.
Q – What do you write about?
A – I write primarily opinion-----political essays. So, that’s
kind of a strange combination-----fudge, computers and writing.
Q – Are you they only one who has the recipe
for the fudge that Mr. Fisher sold you?
A – We are the only one with the Fisher recipe. He was one of the
original 7 fudge owners on Mackinac Island. We are the only ones to our
knowledge that have that particular recipe. There are other Mackinac Island
recipes. The reason we chose Mr. Fisher, we looked around at this-----his
recipe does not have any preservatives. All we use is farm fresh dairy products,
cream and butter. No coconut oil. We get rave reviews for our fudge because
they’re all natural ingredients. The other recipes will use coconut
oils and preservatives, and it’s still good, but, we just think ours
is a little better because we don’t do that.
Q – Do you make the fudge on whatever premises you’re
A – We make it on the spot, wherever we’re at.
Q – What percentage of your sales can you attribute
to the State Fair circuit?
A- Oh. I’d say a good seventy percent. The remaining twenty-five percent
I would say are the wholesale route. And then the other five percent are
the Internet. Fudge is an impulse item. People have to actually see it in
person before they want to buy it. One of our customers in northern Michigan
is a produce market in Kalkaska, Michigan. They sell vegetables, tomatoes,
and watermelons. Our fudge has gone over very well there. We’re getting
a sizeable order for a couple hundred slices every week. That’s the
type of outlet we sell to primarily. We don’t sell to the 7-11’s.
We sell to other Mom and Pop operations.
Q – Do you go into Farmer’s Markets?
A – Yes.
Q – What’s your favorite fudge?
A – My favorite is the Chocolate Peanut Butter. It’s like Reese’s
Peanut Butter Cup.
Q – How much competition do you have? How many
U.S. fudge cos. are there anyway?
A – Oh, I would say, just a rough estimate…..now, there are
those who sell fudge as a sideline and sell other candy products. I wouldn’t
necessarily call the fudge cos. Those that sell exclusively like us with
fudge, I’d say about two dozen, throughout the whole country. We all
encounter about 5 or 6 of ‘em at all the fairs we go to.
Q – What is everybody else doing to promote
A – I think they’re doing what we’re doing. They’ve
just got other convention routes and show routes, that they do that don’t
impact on ours, so far.
Q – Where would you like to take this co? How
much would you like to see it grow?
A – Well, I would really like to take it to the multi-million dollar
level. Right now we’re under a million, obviously. I’d like
to hitch it to a larger co. that maybe could sell our fudge or use our fudge
in their product. For example I’m going to contact Ben and Jerry’s
ice-cream and see if they want to start a whole flavor of ice-creams called
Mackinac Islands, in which case they could use 5 or 6 of our flavors. At
one time we almost had an arrangement with Hershey’s, but, that fell
through for some reason. That’s what I would really like to do. We’ve
got the Best Fudge. I’m a biased source. We’ve got the Best
Fudge anywhere. Even many of our competitors will admit that. So my goal
is to try and market that to a much larger audience. It hasn’t happened
yet, but, I’m working on it, everyday. We’ll be selling our
fudge ‘till I’m 103.
Q – With your website, do you get overseas
A – We get overseas orders, but, we don’t ship overseas, because
we don’t use preservatives. We’re kind of purists, in that sense.
We have shipped without problems to U.S. servicemen in Iraq. We’ve
had several orders to Iraq, without any spoilage. You’d think in that
hot desert climate over there, there would be. We’ve got several National
Guard people over there who enjoy our fudge.
Official Website: morgansfudge.com
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