BETHANY — If you’re looking for something sweet for Mom, what could be better than locally made fudge from a mother-daughter team?
You’ll find that kind of gift on historic Route 66 across the street from Southern Nazarene University at Sweet Prairie Home, 3933 N College Ave. Packed with plenty of flavor and made fresh in-house daily, the silky fudge has an aroma of sweet chocolate and vanilla that greets you the instant you open the door of this pretty little shop where Imalee Crow and her daughter Annette Gunter confect it daily.
They started renting commercial kitchen time in downtown Oklahoma City before they found their space in Bethany. Since the end of January, they have been making 72 to 108 pounds daily in their commercial kettle on the premises near Cedarburg Square in Bethany.
They feature more than 200 recipes that expand on the traditional chocolate varieties of fudge. Butter and cream dominate at Sweet Prairie Home, but Crow and Gunter don’t limit themselves to large thick slabs of sliceable fudge.
They make to order molded shapes for weddings, corporations and events, and they sometimes even cater fudge buffets. Their dipped marshmallows, pretzels and Granny Smith Fudge-Kist Apples come with a variety of creative fudge coatings.
“If it will stand still, we’ll dip it,” Gunter said.
The pair enjoy working with customers to create fudge layering combinations such as chocolate with cherry walnut fudge on top or caramel between layers of vanilla fudge. As any chocolate lover knows, chocolate has an affinity with a variety of flavors. With a multitude of recipes on hand, Sweet Prairie Home can create an infinite number of combinations to your own wishes. I would encourage you to stop by and sample before going creative, as it always has 15 to 20 varieties made up.
Before I sampled some of the fudge on hand and talked with Crow, I thought fudge was mostly something we enjoyed for the holidays. Crow said they offer several seasonal fudges, even for summer, including Lemon Meringue, Strawberry Lemonade and Fudge Cheesecake. In the fall there is of course pumpkin fudge and peppermint and cranberry.
I was there as Gunter was making a custom order of small fudge hearts for a wedding.
They were also busy packaging boxes of fudge for Mother’s Day gifts.
Customers can choose a combination of four flavors or all one for presentation in a one-pound box.
Crow said they do a number of fudge-covered apples for teacher’s gifts.
Crow stressed the importance of packaging the product.
I loved the tiny individual-size oval plastic boxes of fudge packed with a little spoon just right for sampling or keeping on hand in your desk or kitchen drawer.
When these business-savvy women began looking for a business that would be a great fit for them, making fudge seemed just right. It had universal appeal, it was affordable, and the market was not saturated with homemade fudge on every corner. The time frame also allowed Gunter the mornings to continue homeschooling her son.
The mother-daughter team had their plan in place before making their investment and jumping into business. I wasn’t surprised when I learned that both have master’s degrees in management and international management.
I asked about their most popular fudge. Crow said it’s probably Rocky Road, a fitting choice for any mother. If you’ve made your mother’s road a little too rocky, perhaps you can make it up to her on Sunday with some sweet fudge made by an Oklahoma mother.
Did you know?
I found an inspiring book for anyone wanting to create a food product and be a part of the Made in Oklahoma movement. “The Artisan Food Entrepreneur: Profiles in Passion and Success” is written by Jo Packham of “Where Women Create” publications.
The book is full of success stories as it profiles female food entrepreneurs from across the country. The photos and stories make you want to jump in and get that business plan put together.
It includes practical, tried-and-true business tips in recipe format:
1 part Strong Passion, steeped until robust enough to hold its strength even when more hot water is added!
1 part Crystal Clear Plan
4 Essential Essences: Know your Numbers, Leadership Skills, Stick to Core Competencies and Nurture all Relationships
•Review and revisit your ingredient list monthly. Do better each year. Be open to the possibility that there is always a better recipe. Be a student of all new ingredients for improvement.
Look for it at local bookstores.
If You Go
Sweet Prairie Home Fudge
•Hours: 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through
•Address: 3933 N College Ave. in Bethany.