Farmer faces a fudged future
FROM cattle farming at Tabulam to making gourmet fudge from his grandmother's secret recipe, life has been an interesting journey for Gary Amedee.
“You have got to find your niche,” the Ballina man said.
And he has certainly done that.
Mr Amedee – who also has university qualifications in IT – recently opened his own shop, Byron Bay Fudge Factory, in the Boulevard in River St, Ballina.
Given the current financial climate it was a risky move, but one he “feels good about”.
“I have been making fudge for as long as I can remember, since I was about 5 or 6,” he said.
“My mother taught me from my grandmother's recipe.
“It's an art and a science.
“You have to have the recipe exactly right. The temperature has to be perfect.
“Having my own shop is something that I have always wanted to try.
“Ballina's a nice place – I feel like it's really going ahead.”
But how does one go from running a farm south of Tabulam to spending the days whipping up fudge with state-of-the-art machinery?
“I just got sick of the isolation and life on the farm,” Mr Amedee said.
“I asked myself, ‘what am I going to do now?'.
“Then I found this shop and I just decided that I was going to make fudge.
“So I sold the farm and put all my money into this.
“I didn't spend too much time wondering whether I should do it or not.
“I knew I didn't want to sit in an office all day. And there's a lot to be said for being your own boss.
“There comes a time when you have to do the thing you love.
“I would have always regretted it if I hadn't given this a go.”
Mr Amedee now hopes to sell his fudge wholesale to other shops, but he's also urging people to come in and try his tasty treats.
His personal favourite is plain caramel, but he also makes coffee bean, caramel and cashew, caramel and macadamia and, of course, chocolate. Freshly-made muffins are another specialty.
“You think I would get sick of eating fudge, but I don't,” he said.
“It's just so good – if I do say so myself.”