The Sugar Mill
Radfords has been making fudge since the 1950's and has moved factory 4 times; on each occasion it has found bigger and better premises to manufacture an ever increasing range of fudge and confectionery. Colin and Jenny Tyler bought the business in 2006 (when it was called Radfords of Devon) and so 2016 is a special 10 years anniversary of Radfords Fine Fudge Ltd. Radfords of Devon started life in the seaside town of Teignmouth. A boom in tourism to the area led to the business growing and it's reputation for quality was established in these early days. The Radfords family sold the business when it moved from a bakery in Teignmouth to the neighbouring South Devon town of Torquay. Radfords of Devon continued to grow a reputable supply of fudge throughout the South Hams. Radfords of Devon was sold to Colin & Jenny Tyler in 2006 and the factory was re-located from Torquay to Martock in rural Somerset.
Colin is the Managing Director and brings a wealth of industry experience. He is a graduate of Food Science and spent 15 years working for large Plc food companies before buying Radfords Fine Fudge. During his ownership the business revenues have grown 500%! Radfords is still a family business and, despite its recent and rapid growth, it retains a small and personal approach. Another significant milestone was reached in 2014 when the business was moved three miles 'down the road' to a bigger and better site. The factory is now situated in a picturesque location in the small rural Somerset village called Stoke-Sub-Hamdon. The property is owned by Prince Charles (part of the Duchy of Cornwall Estate) and we are proud to be tenants and custodians of an Edwardian hamstone factory building that has a fascinating history. We would describe our processes and techniques as artisan and traditional. Our fudge is made in copper kettles and, once cooled, it is cut by hand and packed by hand – no robots here!
We have a very experienced team, and with over fifty years of heritage, we are proud to say we have the 'know how' to ensure the highest standards in everything we do. In support of this claim, the factory has achieved SALSA accreditation. We produce over 50 flavours of fudge but, despite being very different in style, our crumbly butter fudge along with our smooth vanilla fudge remain our most popular. We have recently (2014) invested in new equipment that gives us a three-fold increase in our capacity. We therefore have capability and ambitions for immediate growth. As well as our award winning fudge, we have also diversified into other confectionery products such as brittles, honeycomb, nougat and marshmallows. All of our fudge is ambient and has 9 months shelf-life from manufacture. We supply our Radfords brand both regionally and nationally via wholesalers to forecourts, convenience stores, delis, farm shops and tourist attractions. We supply our products in private label branded packaging to nationally and internationally renowned confectionery brand companies. They in turn supply these products to the multiples and so our fudge (in third party branded packaging) are on the shelves of Waitrose, Sainsbury, Ocado, Fortnums, National trust properties, Dobbies, Wyevale and many more besides.
We are proud to use local suppliers for as many of our ingredients and services as possible. There is so much talent and great products on our doorstep that very often we do not need to look further afield. The benefits should be mutual, and apart from the obvious positive environmental affects, the business is rewarded by being part of a community of local businesses that provide a rich network of local help and support.
From design, carton making and accountancy to sourcing butter and clotted cream, the same ethos is applied: look local first and build a strong foundation for supply based on trust, knowledge and understanding.
We are currently working with the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) and LEADER to develop the use of information systems in our manufacturing process.