01 Apr Meet The Trader – That Fudge Guy
Roy and his home made, aritsan fudge are local celebrities at York Shambles Market! A well-liked trader on the market, Roy won a Love Your Local Market award for his campaign promoting his fellow traders to help attract customers to get #downthemarket and shop local.
His fudge is lovingly hand-crafted in his kitchen from scratch and his 50 flavours range from the bizarre (does anyone fancy a bite of Irn-Bru fudge?) to trendy salted caramel and clotted cream treats!
That Fudge Guy
What market or markets do you trade on?
Shambles Market, York
Tell us something that makes your town and market special.
York has had a market since Viking times and in its present form is adjacent to the famous Shambles – Europe’s oldest shopping street and one of the most photographed streets in the world. Our historic City – and the lively seven-days-a-week market at its heart – welcomes visitors from all over the world.
How long have you been in business? Is it something you started yourself, inherited or ‘fell into’?
Roy has been in business as ‘That Fudge Guy’ for over three years. For the previous twenty years he had been the town centre manager in Halifax and Doncaster and the City centre manager in Hull. One of his responsibilities in Doncaster was the management of the borough’s retail markets so he already had some insight into the trade. York is well known as a major centre for confectionery and that heritage – combined with a never ending supply of tourists pounding the city’s ancient streets and craving a sweet treat – led him to become an artisan confectioner.
Do you employ other people? Are they friends, relatives or ‘just employees? What do they bring to the business?
Roy makes all of his products himself, dedicating two days each week to the kitchen and sells online and direct from his busy market stall himself for three days of the week. His wife Wendy provides his transport and naturally her services as chief taster.
What’s special about your business? What sets you apart from the competition? Do anything special for the local community, do you run workshops?
Most historic towns that attract tourists have at least one fudge shop. York has several, but for a city with such a rich history of confectionery manufacture it seemed a shame that they were all branches or franchises of national chains. That Fudge Guy fills the gap as a genuinely local maker, catering to local tastes and to the demands of the visitors exploring York. In fact he now makes over fifty varieties of fudge – twice as many as his competitors – with over half of them either suggested by customers or in response to the availability of locally sourced ingredients.
Alongside his work as a confectioner, Roy is passionate about his city, committed to supporting its increasingly strong independent sector and to championing the important role that the market plays. He is an active member of his local market traders group, a committee member of Indie York (the city’s independent traders organisation) and a member of York Retail Forum.
What is your favourite product and why? Is there anything special about the production process?
Of all of his products, the ones he feels most proud of are those that use local produce and resonate with the local community. His Viking Mead Fudge uses honey provided by a York beekeeper, his Chocolate Orange Fudge is an homage to the famous Terry’s confection that hails from York and uses chocolate manufactured by York Cocoa Works. And his signature Yorkshire Rhubarb Fudge – well, you can probably guess what that’s got in it!
Tell us ONE thing you love about being a market trader.
Being a market trader in such a prominent position in the centre of one of England’s top visitor destinations is a real privilege. Over the past year he has served customers from more than fifty different countries – the diversity is fantastic. He loves his City and is always ready with advice about what to see, what’s on, where to eat – or just where to spend a penny – and loves interacting with so many lovely people and being a small part of their hopefully enjoyable visit to York.