Tasty sweet combinations

Andy Baxendale from Connie's Kitchen Sweets
Andy Baxendale from Connie's Kitchen Sweets

A BIT like Marmite, a Wigan confectioner’s line of bacon-flavoured fudge has polarised opinion since it was unleashed on the market this summer.

But Connie’s Kitchen boss Andy Baxendale, who is particularly partial to a bacon-flavoured sweet drop, now wants to experiment - Willy Wonka-style - with even more wacky flavour combinations.

Already in the pipeline is meat and potato fudge, onion, garlic and even frankfurter-flavoured sweets!

Andy said: “The bacon-flavoured fudge and sweet drops are selling really well. I thought one customer summed them up perfectly when he described them as ‘strangely fascinating’!

“I’m not sure why the flavour works so well - I suppose it’s because they’re a bit salty - but the demand for savoury sweets seems to be on the up.

“I’ve noticed that the bacon-flavoured sweets seem to be more popular with men than women though.”

Andy set up Connie’s Kitchen five years ago using traditional handmade confectionery recipes passed down through his family.

The name pays tribute to his wife’s grandmother, Constance Dickinson, who was born in Orrell, Wigan, in 1908, and was renowned as a whizz in the kitchen.

Originally based in the Royal Arcade, Connie’s Kitchen moved for a time to an old fashioned sweet shop in Earlestown but has recently moved back full time into its factory off Winstanley Road in Orrell.

And Andy, who even managed to plug his “naturally indulgent” business on national TV when he and his family appeared as guests on the hit Channel 4 show The Hotel, says the company is already reaping the benefits.

He added: “It’s miles better to be back.

“We’re going to set up a little shop at the front of our unit and will start running fudge-making courses, from scratch, in the New Year too.

“We’ll go through all the ingredients with everyone and, of course, the potential pitfalls.”

The bacon-flavoured lines are marketed by Preston-based Rosetta Brands, who hand-picked Connie’s Kitchen to add the sweets to its best selling range of winter nips, butter tablets, Lancashire mint cake, Bakewell tart fudge and cough candy.

Rosetta managing director Nick Comer said: “We wanted high quality, locally sourced products and Andy’s company fitted the bill perfectly.

“We have a reputation for selling unusual products and wanted to bring something different to the food sector both in the UK and abroad.

“We think the world is ready for them and they are already hugely popular in the United States.”