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Fledgling candy makers eye the retail market.

Fledgling candy makers eye the retail market

Sinking one's teeth into a truffle from Morin's Fudge and Brittle Kitchen of Bruce Mines is enough to create a habit.

And it's a habit which must be catching on because business has been steady since the kitchen opened last June.

Suzanne Morin, who cooks and operates Morin's for her parents, Robert and Gerry Morin, is pleased with their start.

"We are getting a lot of word-of-mouth advertising. That really gives you a good framework for how you are doing in terms of public reaction," said Morin.

Although the target market is the North Shore area where Bruce Mines is located, customers come from much further away. In fact, people from places such as Toronto and even Florida have stopped by on a friend's or co-worker's recommendation.

Morin's has no competitors in the area, a condition of the FedNor grant which helped fund the candy shop.

The candy shop is a pre-fabricated building which was used by Beaver Lumber for display purposes in Sault Ste. Marie. Robert bought and moved the building to its current location.

The business venture was a family affair. The original idea was Gerry's, who works in real estate in Sault Ste. Marie. Robert had retired from Algoma Steel and they were looking for a business venture.

Suzanne's brother Mathew, who lives in Toronto, did the paperwork and much of the leg work.

Although they ate a lot of homemade fudge as children, "that really wasn't the stimulus," says Suzanne, who laughingly admits it would be easy to nibble on the profits in a candy shop.

The Morins received training from a professional candy maker. Suzanne would like to get more training, particularly with chocolate, which has become a popular item in the store.

"I am now doing a lot of reading and research on my own. I am trying to acquire more knowledge of candy making and the intricacies of chocolate," said Morin.

Although she does all of the chocolate work, her father gives her a hand with the fudge and brittle making because of the heavy pots involved.

In fact, Robert's ingenuity has been an asset to the new business. He rigged up a dispenser for the caramel, and when he found the sugar storage system was inadequate, he had a relative in the acrylics business help him design and construct a new bin.

Candy is cooked in copper kettles. The actual candy making is done on two large marble tables - marble being a good conductor of heat. Marble is also a good surface for "tempering chocolate."

Because candy is a "semi-perishable product," the Morins wrap it in individual pieces of cellophane. A tight seal is needed so "air and other flavors don't get in," said Morin.

They intend to retail through other stores and acrylic trees will be used to display the candy. Currently, the only other store carrying their wares is Popper's - a gift basket business in Sault Ste. Marie.

Distribution will be looked after by the Morins.

"We're very careful and concerned that we project the proper image," said Suzanne.

The business, said Morin, is doing well financially. It is able to carry itself - including her salary and that of a part-time employee, Evelyn Wing. Her parents, she said, "are not solely relying on it for income."

In the course of a summer Morin finds herself making 30 to 40 pounds of every line of candy they sell. They carry 10 to 12 types of fudge.

The candy store is open seven days a week - afternoons only on Sundays.
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Title Annotation:Manufacturing Report; Morin's Fudge and Brittle Kitchen
Author:Smith, Marjie
Publication:Northern Ontario Business
Date:Jul 1, 1990
Words:595
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