According to the speciality food website TheNibble.com, fudge was invented about 100 years ago as a result of a mistake. In other words, someone "fudged" making the candy---probably caramel-- and a new American confection was born. If you enjoy making fudge and find that friends and acquaintances often ask you for your recipe or beg you to make fudge for special occasions, then you've already taken the first step toward having your own fudge business.
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Check your state and county laws concerning food production. Depending on which state you live in, you may need to produce your fudge in a commercial kitchen and pass a food safety inspection. New Hampshire provides a homestead exemption, and Iowa does not require a license at all for many home-produced products. On the other hand, in Texas, your kitchen will officially be a "food establishment" and must meet a wide variety of regulations before you can legally sell your fudge. Check with your state's Department of Health and Human Services to find out the specific requirements for your state. Your county public health department can tell you of any local regulations.
Register your business. You'll need to get a federal employer identification number (EIN) in order to file taxes for your candy business and buy many of your products wholesale and tax free. Before getting an EIN, register your business name if you will be doing business under any name other than your own.
Buy your ingredients in bulk in order to save money on nuts, sugar, chocolate and other ingredients. You can do this by joining a wholesale club or dealing directly with a wholesale restaurant supplier. Ask local restaurant owners whom they recommend.
Purchase packaging for your fudge. You'll need to make sure that it will hold up well for shipping if you are planning on selling your fudge online. For local sales, packaging can be as simple as a cellophane bag with a list of ingredients and nutritional information included inside. You may want to increase your sales by packaging your fudge in gift boxes that will encourage people to make impulse purchases for friends and family.
Identify the part of fudge making that you do best and capitalise on it. If you are known for a making a wide variety of different fudges, make even more and become the top supplier of speciality fudges. If you use a special quality chocolate in your fudge, play that up. Perhaps you have found a way to make fudge lower in calories. Anything that makes your fudge stand out will help people remember your business.
Promote your fudge business. Have samples on hand at local events and participate in festivals and fairs. Make a social networking fan webpage for your fudge, and upload plenty of mouthwatering photos. You may want to build an online store. Some people even sell their fudge on Etsy.com. Holidays are especially good for promoting fudge---watch your sales leap during Valentine's Day and Mother's Day.
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