Kevin Graham and Robin Strickland might not be the two people you'd think would join forces to create a fudge company that sends out squares of chocolate packaged in punchy tins with sayings like "A little piece offering" or "What's your fudge factor?" tied to their bright packaging. Both Graham and Strickland are long-time entrepreneurs in the field of pipeline operation and compliance tracking, not sweets.
But the two business partners had one thing in common besides talent for running a successful small business: the love of fudge. In 2009, they sold their compliance tracking company and started Big Little Fudge out of their hometown of Montgomery, just down the road, and now have a growing operation to show for their efforts.
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"Most everyone I meet loves fudge," says Strickland, "but for those who don't -- for those who think fudge is too sweet -- once they have tasted ours, they love it." I wasn't primed to take this statement seriously until I tried the fudge for myself (the varieties without nuts, that is, even though I make my own Christmas fudge each year with them). Instead of that gritty, overly sweet sludge that can sometimes result from either the store-bought or the homemade stuff, Big Little Fudge was surprisingly tempered in its sweetness. No jaw-aching sugar rush here, just a fluid chocolate taste that was enjoyably mild -- until you start scarfing down an entire tin of it, that is.
Big Little Fudge comes in 12 flavors right now: The Great Divide (chocolate and peanut butter) and Choc A Lot (plain chocolate) were my favorites, but the nut-lovers in the office loved the Big Softy (a rocky road-style fudge) and the "Nut"orious (the classic fudge with walnuts). If you're going to forgo the holiday tradition of fudge at Christmas and pie at Thanksgiving in lieu of switching it up a bit, Big Little Fudge also has The Great Pumpkin and The Great Pumpkinut flavors, the latter studded with walnuts.
The tin that my officemates consumed in about five minutes flat retails at $19.95 for 12 pieces (plus shipping), so it won't break the bank -- especially when you consider the time involved in making your own batch of fudge at home. And you can mix up the flavors in each box, something that's considerably more time-consuming at home as well.
You can even be extra-sneaky and re-package the stuff to make it look like you made it yourself. But, honestly, with packaging this cute, you won't want to.