IN a quiet corner of the Cotswolds, not far from the home of the Chipping Norton set, several women are beavering over hot vats of an amber-coloured liquid, which is making them quite a name as divas of the fudge-making kind.

And they are feeling quite giddy; not because of any sugar rush, but because of a new fudge kettle that will allow them to increase production for the Cotswold Fudge Company.

Seven years ago, Jenny Silverthorne-Wright and Sarah Hobbs both worked for Oxfam in the new products arm of the charity but gave up their jobs to go into business together making and selling fairtrade chocolates.

They were going well and had fudge was a sideline, but it became apparent that the fudge side was growing faster. Three years ago they made the decision to shift concentration to fudge."

"It is an artisan product that does what it says on the tin and it was growing in demand," said Mrs Silverthorne-Wright.

In April this year the company moved from a rather draughty barn on Alex James' land to a nearby industrial unit in Station Road, Kingham. There they produce Cotswold fudge in 11 different flavours which can now be found throughout the region and beyond in farm shops, delicatessens, garden centres, theatres, local National Trust shops and other tourist venues. One of the newest customers is the Midcounties Co-operative which recently opened in Chipping Norton and immediately put the Cotswold Fudge Company on their suppliers list.

Adam Quinton, store manager at Your Local Co-op in Chipping Norton, said: “As a retailer owned by our members in the local community, supporting regional suppliers is a key part of what we do as a co-operative.


“The Cotswold Fudge Company is a fantastic local business, so we’re pleased to have added its flavours to the shelves.

“The range is already proving popular and we look forward to seeing their business grow.”

Mrs Silverthorne-Wright added: “We are pleased our fudge is proving so popular. It is stocked in places such as Kensington Palace, and popular Cotswold haunts such as Sudeley Castle, Snowshill Manor and Burford Garden Centre, and even as far afield as Australia. Everything we produce carries the Fairtrade Mark, so customers can be sure the producers of our ingredients are paid a fair price for their work.".

But it’s not just about building a business built on ethics. The ladies have a lot of fun too.

“We think of ourselves as fudge divas, a description that also applies to our staff - other mums and family members who share our passion for all things sweet,” explained Mrs Hobbs. “Everybody works hard but there is a lot of laughter and banter too. Each batch is lovingly boiled, beaten and blended by hand, and that is what makes it so truly scrumptious.”

Despite several different flavours, the most popular remains the plain fudge, while at Christmas special seasonal treats include cranberry and cinnamon, brandy butter and chocolate and salted caramel flavours. There are also plans to bring out a fudge of the month flavour.

Cotswold Fudge also makes and sells a range of honeycomb and brittles which are sold under Cotswold Tuck Box brand.

While the business is mostly wholesale, products can be bought online at