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Cape Breton Fudge Co.: Hitting the sweet spot

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Were this year’s Golden Globes a little sweeter than usual? Cape Breton Fudge Company, from Sydney, Nova Scotia, was one of a select group invited to share their wares with Hollywood VIPs and celebrities in the Golden Globe Gift Suites in early January.

Nova Scotia Business Inc.’s (NSBI) Export Growth Program made the trip to Los Angeles possible. Co-owner Duane Nardocchio attended with a marketing specialist from 902 Advertising Group, a local firm whose help the company has enlisted to redesign its website and work on marketing projects.

“We brought 200 pounds of fudge and had an opportunity to meet with industry VIPs including some actors and actresses,” Duane says. “We told them what we do back in Cape Breton and let them sample our products.”

It was a valuable chance to network with a clientele they wouldn’t otherwise meet, and the company’s social media profile jumped after the Golden Globes. “There were opportunities for discussions on a corporate level, where we may be able to do gifting for some people.” Duane adds. “It’s something different and new.”

Duane and his business partner and company co-owner, Wade Langham, are working hard to strengthen the company’s brand at home and abroad. Besides their own specialty fudges such as Celtic Mint, Highland Gold Maple made with Highland Gold maple syrup, and Breton Whisky made with Glenora whisky, the retail shop in Sydney sells Tastes of Cape Breton gift items.

When they’re not making fudge, they’re building their signature wooden gift crates, which have stamps from Cape Breton Fudge Company and often become keepsakes. “We do them locally in an open presentation form, shrink wrapped to look nice,” Duane says, “but for the mail we close them up, strap them up like a shipping crate, and send them all over the world.”

A few years ago, the company started wholesaling to retailers across the Maritimes. As a small specialty business in a small town, they knew that regular repeat business from other areas would be key to their survival.

They also take part in local festivals, such as the first-ever Cape Breton Beer Fest this November, which aims to attract craft beer makers from across Canada and the USA. “We’ve created two beer fudges for two local breweries, Big Spruce and Breton Brewery,” Duane says, “and they’re quite tasty.”

Duane says his experience with NSBI has been very good.

The Export Growth Program is excellent,” he says, “and we want to grow. We have new leads and the opportunity to quote and to work on new products. We’ve been commissioned to make new flavours for certain businesses and companies, and it’s exciting because it could turn into something quite cool.”

Any success story from Cape Breton is exciting, Duane says. “It would be equally exciting if The Cape Breton Fudge Co. could be one of them.”

Nova Scotia Business Inc. is dedicated to supporting the growth of business in Nova Scotia. Our team of Regional Business Development Advisors is available to assess your needs and provide practical advice on taking your next steps toward growth in global markets.

The Export Growth Program supports businesses looking to increase their export sales outside of Nova Scotia. The program provides financial incentives for projects that assist a business’s ability to overcome barriers to export growth.