2022 Inside Mackinac | Page 42


Mackinac Island is well known for its world-famous handmade fudge . Skilled candy makers have been making fudge and candy on Mackinac for millions of customers for well over 130 years , and still do to this day .

You can buy a box of the famous fudge and save it as a souvenir , ship some home to friends , co-workers , and family or enjoy the delicious treat and eat it right out of the box as soon as you hit the street . Other fine candies and chocolates are made fresh at all locations as well . There are several very reputable candy makers at numerous locations on the Island , all making the best chocolate and fudge in the world .
It all began back in 1887 , the year Grand Hotel was built . A canvas sail maker named Henry Murdick , was hired by Grand Hotel to make canvas awnings . Murdick arrived with his wife and two sons . Their eldest son , Jerome Murdick , opened a shop downtown and began making and selling candy and fudge using his mother ’ s recipes . Some years later , Jerome ’ s son Gould Murdick would later take over the family candy business . In 1940 , Gould Murdick sold the building to his chief candy maker , Harold May . Some 30 years later , Murdick ’ s reopened and once again began selling famous fudge and candy still to this day .
Harold May came to the Island with years of candy making experience and established May ’ s Candies in 1940 . The
Famous Mackinac Island Fudge
family has owned and operated their Island location for the last 82 years through five generations .
Murdick ’ s was the original fudge shop , but May ’ s Fudge is the longest , continuously run fudge shop on Mackinac .
In 1960 , Detroit entrepreneur Harry Ryba brought his fudge business , Ryba ’ s Fudge to the Island and changed everything . Instead of making fudge in the back room , he brought the marble fudge cooling slabs up front in plain view through large windows attracting visitors strolling down Main Street , while overhead exhaust fans blew the sweet chocolate smell out into the street . This famous marketing strategy has not changed in 60 years .
44 Inside Mackinac