Like a taste-testing bite available at the front counter, Ernie Ware is starting small with his storefront venture downtown.
Fudge Yeah opened late last month. It offers a rotating number of fudge concoctions — classics like maple nut and chocolate — as well as adventures for the palate, including lemon meringue cheesecake and key lime.
In total, Ware plans to offer as many as 150 flavours, recipes for which are obtained from a New York supplier.
Partnering with Ware is his wife Zoe, who works as an administrative assistant in Kamloops. The pair shares a love of baking.
“We’ve had a couple of ideas over the years,” said Ware, a former TRU Student Union president who graduated a decade ago with a business degree.
“This is one we felt we could run with. I like the old-time candy shops in Banff and Canmore. I wanted to bring that here.”
He estimates 400 people walked through his doors during the recent Taste of Downtown event.
Ware’s career experiences range from working most recently as an asphalt tester for a paving company to stints in restaurants, including as a sous chef at Chapters Viewpoint and manager of the kitchen at Mount Paul Golf Course.
With the kitchen experience and a business education in his pocket, Ware grabbed at the chance to open his shop in the 400 block of Victoria Street in the location of a former raw food restaurant.
Ware works Mondays in the kitchen as his production day for fudge treats, typically producing three to four batches. He mans the storefront for the remainder of the week. In addition to help from his spouse, he is hiring a part-time worker to look at wholesaling to regional restaurants.
“With our name and concept, I think in five years or so we can think of franchising.”
In addition to the fudge, Ware offers a selection of jar candies.
There’s also a quirk to Fudge Yeah. Ware has always been a fan of pop culture collectibles and he decided to put them in his retail space at the front of the shop.
Featured are tin lunchboxes, figures and pop culture kitsch. Ware also insists that only local bands are played on the airwaves of the shop and locally produced artworks (available for purchase) adorn its walls.
“I wanted to be a different store,” he said.