One of the nicest things about the Midlands is that it is the home of the best fudge. Tasha’s Fantastic Fudge is a home business that has grown phenomenally and become a local institution. Known for its innovation and good old fashioned flavour this sweet story of success has gone from strength to strength.
Tasha Jardim is an ex Zim gal who came to South Africa in Grade 11, her cooking talent she inherited from her granny who was always making delicious things in the kitchen ranging from mulberry wine to biscuits. Tasha’s great grandmother was also a confectioner so the sweet treat genes run in the family.
While she was at school her Gran encouraged her to enter a few competitions. She won a cake baking competition and from then on, baking and creating became a way of life. In Matric she scored her highest mark for Home Economics – which was a lot of baking.
Her soft spot for confectionery continued when she studied at Silwood kitchens and she did her final exams on confectionery even creating three coloured jube jubes. As life continued with a marriage and baby – her love of cooking continued and in the background there was fudge.
While she sold fudge at a local school to supplement her income, she realised the fudge was a huge seller and that is when the dream was born. Always her biggest supporters have been her family.
Tasha said:” I did not imagine it would get this big, but I am glad it has because you have a dream and as the dream grows you have to grab every opportunity and grow with it.” The Tasha’s Fantastic Fudge shop in Hilton is a must for many tourists who want to choose their own “pick n mix” of flavours from the large glass jars.
Her business has grown too and they are now expanding beyond the borders of KZN and they are negotiating to sell the fudge to Dischem in three other provinces. Tasha has also made it possible for fudge addicts to order their fix online, her website has an online facility.
She says that her success has been a journey that has taught her a few lessons and it has also enabled her to learn other skills. “I knew that our original recipe was the winner and we have never deviated from that and we don’t skimp on ingredients. The original is still our best seller.
“I have a brilliant team from the cooks in the kitchen to my family and extended staff who are the backbone of the business; (and) they have also grown with the business. Some of my staff were gardeners who have become involved in the production and packaging.
“I had to take a gamble every now and again in order to grow and these small leaps of faith were what revolutionised the business and took us from being a small business to being a serious player.”
Tasha believes that in any market there will be competition and you have to believe in your product and offer service and be prepared to be creative. She offers fudge treats to corporates and fudge novelties to B&Bs who can offer fudge instead of the traditional chocolates on the pillows.
At Christmas she tried a mince pie flavoured fudge (flavour) and she has a red velvet fudge for the adventurous. For one ecologically minded corporate she made a green fudge for their event – with the slogan – anything can go green!
If you have a sweet tooth then do yourself a favour and visit Tasha’s Fantastic Fudge shop in Hilton – it is a den of sweet decadence. The flavours have to be seen to be believed and some may sound um – interesting, but they are absolutely divine.
Ph: (0)83 381 8483