2015-08-15 / News

Fudge Festival Highlights Island’s Favorite Confection

By Matt Harding


Sanders Candy fudge maker Winston Campbell, in his fifth season on the Island, cuts and serves up a batch of chocolate fudge. Sanders Candy fudge maker Winston Campbell, in his fifth season on the Island, cuts and serves up a batch of chocolate fudge. “I love to create things,” said Winston Campbell, a Sanders Candy fudge maker in his fifth season. Mr. Campbell just finished forming a batch of chocolate fudge at the shop on the northwestern corner of Main and Astor streets, pointing out the almost symmetrical design carved into the fudge.

No two batches of fudge made by hand are exactly alike.

“You can be really decorative with it,” said Heather May, who has been working at May’s Fudge since she was a child giving out free samples. Her father, Marvin May, owns the shop.

The fudge-making process begins with a copper kettle, where the ingredients are mixed and the sweet candy is boiled to about 230 degrees Fahrenheit. When it reaches its proper temperature, it is poured onto a marble table to cool, and where it is formed, sliced, and made ready for customers.


LuHui Qu and Heather May of May’s Fudge pour freshly boiled sea salt caramel fudge from a copper kettle onto a marble table, after the boiling fudge reached 230 degrees Fahrenheit. LuHui Qu and Heather May of May’s Fudge pour freshly boiled sea salt caramel fudge from a copper kettle onto a marble table, after the boiling fudge reached 230 degrees Fahrenheit. Meeting people from around the world is one of the best parts of the job, said Greer Wilson of JoAnn’s Fudge.

Most of the shops on Mackinac Island make about 20 batches of fudge a day, so visitors always get freshly made fudge, Mr. Wilson added.

The 11th annual Fudge Festival will celebrate the Island’s most famous food Friday, August 21, to Sunday, August 23, with fudge giveaways, beer and food pairings, and games at Windermere Point, among the highlights.

Five participating fudge shops will sell special boxes of fudge with a golden ticket inside, much like the tickets in the book and movie “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.” The prize is a free overnight stay on the Island for a family of four, complete with ferry tickets and a carriage tour.


Michael Kosuth (left) and Alexander Black show off their vanilla pecan and chocolate fudges behind the counter at Ryba’s Fudge. Michael Kosuth (left) and Alexander Black show off their vanilla pecan and chocolate fudges behind the counter at Ryba’s Fudge. The special boxes will be sold for an hour at the following locations Saturday, August 22: Murdick’s Fudge (1 p.m.), Ryba’s Fudge (2 p.m.), JoAnn’s Fudge (3 p.m.), May’s Fudge (4 p.m.), and Sanders Candy (5 p.m.).

Pink Pony and Draught House will have fudge-flavored beer and fudge pairings Friday, August 21, and Saturday, August 22. Pink Pony’s fudge-inspired menu will be available from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m., and the specials at Draught House will be from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Mary’s Bistro will offer fudgeflavored dinner entrees, drinks, and desserts on their menu on the same days from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.


At left: Greer Wilson, a secondseason employee at JoAnn’s Fudge, cuts slices of chocolate almond fudge. The shop, like most of the others, makes about 20 batches of fudge every day. At left: Greer Wilson, a secondseason employee at JoAnn’s Fudge, cuts slices of chocolate almond fudge. The shop, like most of the others, makes about 20 batches of fudge every day. Finally, the second annual “Fun-Day Fudge-Day on a Sunday” begins Sunday, August 23, at 12:30 p.m. at Windermere Point, where the first 100 children to arrive will receive a free halfpound box of fudge.

At 1 p.m., the Great Turtle Slow Ride will be held, in which bicyclists test their balance by trying to finish last in the slow race. A course will be made on the grass at Windermere Point.

The Sugar Sack Relay, a foot race in which teams will run with up to 50 pounds of sugar, will be held at 1:30 p.m.

Draught House will continue its fudge-flavored beer and fudge pairings that day from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.



Stas Borta flips peanut butter chocolate chip fudge on a marble table at Murdick’s Fudge. The fudge, he said, takes about 20 minutes to form. Stas Borta flips peanut butter chocolate chip fudge on a marble table at Murdick’s Fudge. The fudge, he said, takes about 20 minutes to form.

Return to top

Click here for digital edition
2015-08-15 digital edition