For all of us with ‘‘sweet teeth” out there, this one is definitely going to be worth it.
I’ve always had a sweet tooth ‘’problem’’.
The amount of appreciation I have for a perfect block of fudge, a scrumptious, gourmet cupcake, or even possibly the ultimate shortbread cookie is indescribable.
Starting off at varsity just a few months ago, I was bound to meet a whole host of new and interesting people.
One of those people was Adelene van Rooyen.
Not only does Adelene have a good eye for the social media side of things – when it comes to marketing – but she also tends to offer the most delicious gourmet cupcakes at our House Committee meetings.
The part that stumped me back then was that I couldn’t understand how she was not making these treats as items for sale.
Little did I know of course that ‘back in 2018’ when Adelene was ‘halfway through my first-year experience’ the penny dropped for her to start up TheFudgyDen.
The story goes that Adelene’s mom – Dia – ‘always made us fudge’ and so they thought why not give it a shot.
As a student, you will come to realize that ‘student life is really expensive’.
This fact led the team to start off with ‘original fudge’ and have since grown to the point where they now have their ‘very own Fudge sauce, Fudge ice cream, Fudge flavors and so much more’ – because they don’t only bake fudge.
MEET THE TEAM
If you haven’t yet gathered, TheFudgyDen is a ‘home-based, family bakery’ that produces all their products with great care and attention to detail.
Being able to accomplish this feat though is easier said than done and so it only makes sense that there is a team of family members who all contribute to the end product.
TheFudgyDen wouldn’t be TheFudgyDen if it didn’t have any products to sell, this is where Dia – the mother – slots into things.
As the baker, Dia has an eye for the finer details.
Every treat that is sent out for orders is carefully analyzed and assessed against her high standards of quality.
Simply put, ‘she is the mastermind behind the products’ who ensures that stock is up to date and is no less than top quality.
Now that’s the final show though, but as with any business, there are also going to be things that take place behind the scenes.
Meet Nick – the father – who handles all the essential matters for running a business.
In short, he is a ‘very important part of the team’ which deems him the mastermind behind the operations of TheFudgyDen.
With registering a business name being one of the many imperative tasks to be completed by Nick, the business would need something to be identified by.
Nico – the youngest brother – was the one responsible for crafting ‘’TheFudgyDen’’.
Adding to the band of brothers is Terence – the oldest brother – who is a dynamic player: be it running deliveries, purchasing stock, cleaning up the kitchen, or even lending a hand with the packaging, he is the go-to guy.
Everything seems to be in place for ‘a perfect team’, but there is still one major thing that hasn’t been considered: how does the family know if their products are any good?!
This is where Bryan – Adelene’s boyfriend – steps up to the plate.
Without a doubt, he certainly has a flagship role in the team.
‘He always tastes a new product to ensure it is delicious and ready to be added to our official product list’
Speaking of a product list, how exactly do customers know what to order and find more information on TheFudgyDen?
Adelene is somewhat of a marketing wizard and so it is her sole responsibility to see to the ‘marketing and communication’ side of things.
She is the lady that is the creator of the bakery’s upbeat website, social media feeds/ pages, and looks at the orders being sent off correctly, etc.
WHAT MAKES THEFUGYDEN DIFFERENT?
Besides just the family-business aspect, this up and coming bakery has a lot going for it:
- ‘We create our own recipes’
- A fair few of their inspirations come from past ‘’failures’’
- Each recipe is tweaked ‘until it is perfect’
- Their products are made ‘from scratch with love and our dedication’
- As a customer you are not just another face in the crowd, you form part of a community
WHERE DO I START
With so many fantastic and delectable products on offer, it can be difficult to decide on which ones you want to try out first.
With this in mind – to make your decision process slightly easier – I spoke to Adelene about what some of the popular choices are.
- Salted Caramel Fudge
- Fudgy Ice Cream
Adelene’s personal favorite is the Fudgy Ice Cream because of its creaminess.
In her own words, it is ‘just the best dessert, even on a cold day’.
THE FUTURE OF THEFUDGYDEN
As is with a bakery, the team is always being kept on their toes.
They are continually experimenting with new fudge flavors to provide their customer base with as much choice as possible.
The team would also like to increase their products’ presence in supermarkets, so keep your eye out for your friendly bee-packaged, sweet treats.
Beyond just product development though, there is chatter around opening up a café.
This certainly won’t be happening in the immediate future as Adelene is fully committed to her studies, but ‘it is definitely a goal for us’ and an exciting one at that!
To paint a picture:
‘Hopefully one day you will walk past a soft yellow, bee-themed café with shelves full of delicious fudge and customers filled with happiness while enjoying a cup of coffee, paired with a slice of cheesecake.’
IF YOU’RE THINKING OF STARTING UP A BAKERY OF YOUR OWN
Adelene had a few words of encouragement/ advice that she wanted to share with our aspiring bakers:
- Preparing ‘stock takes a lot of time’, so be prepared to commit at least 2-3 days for this – based on a 2-man-team.
- Be flexible around your studies/ other commitments if those do take preference.
- Invest in your customers, because when tough times such as Covid-19 come around and you are forced to shut shop, they will be your lifelines.
- Don’t be fooled: ‘it will always spark a craving’ when baking niceties – fight the temptation.
- Don’t be afraid to experiment: ‘most of our products weren’t even planned and they actually happened due to a mistake’. Adelene calls them ‘successful accidents’ where for instance they added the wrong sugar and so the fudge sauce recipe was born.
- Get started and ‘just do it’.
- ‘Everything takes time, hard work and a goal’. Part of the reason why TheFudgyDen has been able to grow as it has is because its team shares a common goal.
- Ask for help.
THAT’S A WRAP
With this fun-loving bakery only having been in existence since 2018 they certainly have covered some extensible ground.
I WANT TO KNOW FROM YOU:
Which tasty product on their website catches your eye?
Find TheFudgyDen on Instagram