Fudge
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Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth at These Michigan Fudge Shops

Most people will tell you Michigan’s economy has long been anchored by the automobile industry, with cars being one of the state’s most famous products. But there’s no question that fudge — the dense, chocolatey treat that is rich enough to satisfy any craving yet savory enough to appeal to those without a sweet tooth — is another product the Great Lakes State is famous for.

Whether you’re watching it be made fresh or eyeing different flavors behind the counter, Michigan fudge is delicious and hard to resist. From popular shops on Mackinac Island to Northern Michigan lakeside towns, and even into the Upper Peninsula, there is no shortage of places to get your hands on some.

Original Murdick's Fudge-Mackinac Island
Original Murdick’s Fudge | photo via cottageinn_mackinac

How Fudge Became Michigan’s Most Beloved Specialty Product

There’s a bit of a mystery surrounding the origins of fudge — and no concrete history written down. However, according to legend, fudge was created by mistake, and the first recorded recipe for fudge came from Vassar College in 1886.

Around that same time, the Murdick family arrived on Mackinac Island, a burgeoning tourist destination that was becoming famous for its indulgent treats. At the time, the island was most well-known for its maple sugar confections, and the Murdick family decided to open Murdick’s Candy Kitchen to appease the tourists flocking to the island in droves.

While other candy shops were selling fudge in town, Murdick’s made fudge into a memorable tourist experience. Rome Murdick began making fudge in front of customers and sliced the marble slabs right before their eyes. Soon, fudge became synonymous with Mackinac Island — and Michigan became known as the best place in the world to find freshly made fudge.

Fun Facts About Michigan Fudge

  • Mackinac Island, quite literally, smells like fudge — because fudge shops rely on fans to blow the scent into the street, allowing it to waft into the noses of passersby who will surely find it irresistible.
  • Fudge is named fudge because it was created as a mistake, and someone called it a “fadge.” Sounds a bit similar to another f-word, doesn’t it?
  • Mackinac Island imports more than 10 tons of sugar every week.
  • Mackinac Island produces more than 10,000 pounds of fudge daily during the peak tourist season.
  • There are more than a dozen fudge shops on Mackinac Island alone.
Original Murdick's Fudge-Mackinac Island
Original Murdick’s Fudge | photo via cottageinn_mackinac

Michigan Fudge Shops on Mackinac Island

Mackinac Island is perhaps most famous for being a tiny little island that banned automobiles more than 100 years ago, but it is also known as the Fudge Capital of the World. Today, visitors can stop at over a dozen fudge shops on the island.

Original Murdick’s Fudge

Original Murdick’s Fudge opened its doors in 1887, yet it has continued to transform with the times — even on an island where time seems to stand still. Today, the fudge shop opens seasonally for summer tourists and maintains a year-round online shop, giving fudge enthusiasts worldwide a chance to have fresh Mackinac Island fudge whenever they want.

Handcrafted daily in the traditional style, Original Murdick’s Fudge always has a variety of flavors available, including chocolate, cherry, chocolate caramel sea salt, and more.

Ryba’s Fudge Shop

With its iconic pink awnings, it’s impossible to miss Ryba’s Fudge Shop on Mackinac Island — it also helps that there are four locations around the island to visit. For the Ryba family, fudge is a family legacy, one that has been passed down for four generations.

Today, visitors will enjoy handcrafted fudge made from the original family recipe, which has been modified to create endless flavor varieties, such as maple pecan, Oreo, peanut butter, and chocolate peanut butter.

Joann's Fudge-Mackinac Island
Joann’s Fudge | photo via katharinerosewitt

Joann’s Fudge

Joann’s Fudge opened its doors on the island in 1969 and quickly became known as one of the island’s best places for fresh, homemade fudge. Today, there are multiple locations on the island and a shop in Mackinaw City, making it one of the most recognizable fudge brands in Michigan.

There are more than 20 fudge flavors to choose from at this shop, including butter pecan, double dark chocolate espresso, pumpkin pie, and raspberry truffle.

May Candy’s Shop

From peanut brittle to classic and modern flavors of fudge, May’s is one Mackinac Island confectionary travelers don’t want to miss. With roots stretching from Kansas to Mackinac Island, multiple generations at May’s have worked to craft delicious treats for customers of all ages.

Customers can choose from multiple fudge flavors, including chocolate, chocolate peanut butter, and love potion. May’s also makes delicious divinity; a traditional marshmallow-like sweet that’s made with fondant and nukreme.

Mackinac Fudge Shop-Saint Ignace
Mackinac Fudge Shop | photo via jakekni

Fudge Shops in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula

Mackinac Island’s famous fudge has traveled to the shores of the Upper Peninsula, where a few candy makers have taken up the tradition.

Mackinac Fudge Shop

Saint Ignace

Located one ferry ride away from Mackinac Island, St. Ignace is the perfect place to sell the region’s most famous product. The Mackinac Fudge Shop prides itself on its gourmet fudge, which comes in eclectic flavors like mint chocolate chip and maple cherry walnut.

Devon’s Mackinac Island Fudge Co.

Saint Ignace

Famous for providing visitors with all things sweet, Devon’s Mackinac Island Fudge offers more than just fudge. Customers can get freshly made fudge, gourmet popcorn, taffy, and candy in this St. Ignace shop every day. The shop sells plenty of fudge to locals and tourists, but it also distributes its products nationwide, expanding the reach of Michigan’s most iconic product.

Drummond Island Fudge and Confectionary

Drummond Island

Drummond Island may not be as well-known nationwide as Mackinac Island, but this Lake Huron island still knows how to produce excellent fudge. The Drummond Island Fudge and Confectionary is known for creating some of the best fudge in Michigan, featuring unique flavors such as blueberry cheesecake, Butterfinger, orange cream, and pumpkin pie.

Frankenmuth Fudge Kitchen-Frankenmuth
Frankenmuth Fudge Kitchen | photo via dirtylazyketo

Michigan Fudge Shops South of the Mighty Mac

Below the bridge, even trolls have caught onto the trend of fudge-making in Michigan. Throughout the Lower Peninsula, travelers can find locally owned fudge shops that have become beloved franchises in the state. This makes it easy for anyone who wants some delectable fudge to get this sweet treat.

Kilwin’s

Petoskey

Founded in 1947 as a locally-owned bakery in Petoskey, Kilwin’s has become a nationally recognized brand synonymous with Mackinac Island Fudge. Today, there are Kilwin’s stores throughout the country, but there is still a kitchen in Petoskey where visitors can enjoy tours, fresh fudge, and homemade ice cream.

While its signature Turtle Fudge and Sea-Salt Caramel Fudge are particularly popular, visitors also find that no stop at Kilwin’s is complete with a scoop of ice cream on a fresh waffle cone. The sweetness of Michigan is perfectly captured in this ever-growing candy and ice cream shop.

Frankenmuth Fudge Kitchen

Frankenmuth

Claiming to offer the best fudge in Michigan, visitors won’t want to miss Frankenmuth Fudge Kitchen when you stop in Michigan’s Little Bavaria. This fudge shop opened its doors in 1964, and to this day, its fudge makers craft each small batch of fudge using the original recipe.

In addition to classic flavors such as chocolate and chocolate walnut, this fudge shop also offers innovative fudge flavors, such as cookies and cream, pistachio, birthday cake, and vanilla nut.

The best part is, when you visit at different times throughout the year, you will discover exclusive seasonal flavors, making it worthwhile to come back time and time again.

Jackson Candy & Fudge Factory

Jackson

Fudge is not an exclusively Northern Michigan treat. Near Michigan’s southern border, in the heart of Jackson County, you will find the Jackson Candy & Fudge Factory, which has earned a reputation for being one of the state’s top fudge shops.

Inside this 1890s candy store, you will feel as if you have been transported into a simpler era — one in which the kids ran out of school with a few pennies in their pockets in hopes of grabbing a few sweet treats.

While the colorful confections on display are a feast for the eyes, it’s the homemade fudge that can’t be missed. Each day there are different fabulous flavors to try.

Marshall’s Fudge and Candy Company

Mackinaw City

Known for its original Mackinac Island fudge, Marshall’s Fudge and Candy Company is a favorite among Mackinaw City locals and visitors alike.

The shop’s founder learned the art of the trade on the island, where he worked as a candy maker in the early 1920s. He brought this recipe across the Straits to the Lower Peninsula, where he opened his own local candy shop.

Today, visitors can purchase some tried-and-true fudge flavors, such as chocolate mint, vanilla plain, and chocolate pecan. Of course, if you simply can’t get enough, you can always join their Fudge of the Month club, which delivers fudge directly to your door.

Kilwin's-Petoskey
Kilwin’s | photo via restfulvacations

Treat Yourself to the Goodness of Michigan Fudge Today

Even if you aren’t walking along the streets of Mackinac Island, you can easily enjoy famous Michigan fudge. Most local fudge shops in Michigan will ship right to your door — making this the easiest Great Lakes treat to indulge in. From the tried-and-true classic chocolate to eclectic flavors that are created in Mackinac Island fudge shops each day, there’s sure to be a Michigan fudge every visitor will love.

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