"Bubble Gum" Gets a Makeover, with Help from Fudge Shop

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"Bubble Gum" Gets a Makeover, with Help from Fudge Shop

Pink Dinosaur on US19 at Fudge Factory USA

Photography by Alice Mary Herden

Al and Connie Madden recently moved their gift shop business from an eight hundred square foot retail space in a New Port Richey flea market to a 2800 square foot location here in Spring Hill. Doing so enabled them to expand and redevelop their business model to include candy, fudge and gift basket retail. However, the location of their new business makes the move even sweeter.

 Fudge Factory USA

On August 5th 2015 they opened their doors next to The Pink Dinosaur in Spring Hill on US 19. Madden explained that here he enjoys getting to know his customers, “I like the people; here you get to know people, where we were before everyone was in and out, here we are learning about our customers.”

The Maddens purchased equipment for a fudge making endeavor while still at their New Port Richey location. That location proved too small to add a fudge making operation and they began to consider relocating. The results of a year long survey showed that eighty percent of their customer base was in Hernando County. The Hernando County location they chose happened to be one of the most iconic landmarks outside of Weeki Wachee Springs.

The Pink Dinosaur actually is part of the building property and Madden contacted the Historical Society to see what he can do to fix her up. Bubble Gum, a temporary name for her, has been standing on that spot since the early 1960’s. “While we were building this store, I couldn’t tell you how many people stop in a day’s time and still take pictures,” Madden said.

Madden found a partner to refurbish the dinosaur, Tom Rosati of Tom-Tom enterprises. He is repairing her the proper way; by patching, sanding, applying a primer and repainting her bubble gum pink. “He’s doing a great job,” Madden said. “When I started finding out more about that dinosaur, the last time it was painted was like 25 years ago, and people from out of state [stopped] by taking pictures. If they are taking pictures of it in this shape, I am sure a lot of more people will stop by and take pictures once it’s cleaned up,” Maddened reasoned.

While “Bubble Gum” greets patrons of Fudge Factory USA outside, inside they find a large assortment of classic candies like Fruit Stripe gum, bulk candies from the 1940’s to present as well as trail mix, ice cream and a variety of shapes and flavors of fudge. “Peanut Butter Explosion is the most popular; we go through three to five pounds a day,” Madden said. “We also serve hotdogs. Hotdog with chips and a soda is only $3.00,” he stated.

Fudge Factory USA has over 4000 candy molds, from snowmen to race cars for customers to make their own homemade candy. They also have a great assortment of cake pans which customers can rent. “A lot of times they use it for one time and a couple of years later throw it in a yard sale,” Madden explained.

Fudge Factory USA has a great family environment feel as well as friendly service and cleanliness throughout. “Our customer satisfaction, we treat everyone individually and I think if you get special service and a good product it makes you come back,” Madden said.

With Halloween right around the corner, what is better than having a candy and fudge shop right here in Spring Hill with over 673 recipes and counting? Stop by on Halloween for decorated rice krispies treats and perhaps snap some photos with Bubble Gum the pink dinosaur while you’re there.

Halloween Selection of Rice Krispies

Fudge Factory USA is open 7 days a week 10:30am to 9:30pm daily and on Sunday 12 to 9:30pm and located at 3275 Commercial Way, Spring Hill, Florida 34606.
For more information about Fudge Factory USA visit their website at http://fudgefactoryusa.com/

Specialty Fudge at Fudge Factory USA
 Al Madden owner of Fudge Factory USA

Wide Variety of Candy at Fudge Factory USA