- Associated Press - Monday, December 22, 2014

FRANKENMUTH, Mich. (AP) - John and Marcy Murdick pride themselves on their creamy, old-fashioned fudge.

“We still make it the same way I was taught to make it,” fourth-generation candy maker John Murdick said, standing behind the counter at the new Original Murdick’s Fudge shop in Frankenmuth.

He learned how to make fudge cooked in copper kettles and cooled and creamed on marble slabs as a teen. It’s a 127-year-old family tradition that began in 1887 with his great-grandfather, Newton Jerome “N.J.” ”Rome” Murdick, The Saginaw News (http://bit.ly/1DD2HOe ) reported.

“The name Murdick’s is synonymous with great fudge. That’s what our family built,” John Murdick said.

The couple and their son, Aaron Murdick, opened the new shop next to Frankenmuth Clock Co. on Nov. 15.

An assortment of candies — from turtles to chocolate bark to pecan logs — fill the display cases.

A rainbow of saltwater taffy, made fresh at the shop, fills a container on the counter near the cash register.

Then there’s the fudge, thick slices of the stuff.

There’s chocolate chip swirl, chocolate walnut, dark chocolate and peanut butter. Plain chocolate, mint chocolate chip, rocky road and maple walnut.

German chocolate and Bavarian cheesecake with cherries have been especially popular flavors in Frankenmuth.

During the busy season, Murdick’s can make up to 20 flavors.

The recipe has gone almost unchanged over the years. Butter and Belgian chocolate are among the ingredients that give it its creamy texture.

John Murdick said the family is excited to bring their product to Frankenmuth.

“We’ve always known about Frankenmuth, as far as the kind of town it is. It’s a great town. We’ve fallen in love with it,” John Murdick said. “We love the town. We love the people.”

The iconic businesses, such as Bronner’s Christmas Wonderland and Zehnder’s of Frankenmuth, and seasonal events, such as Zehnder’s Snowfest and Frankenmuth Oktoberfest, draw visitors from near and far and made Michigan’s Little Bavaria an appealing choice for a location, he said.

“We’ve always wanted to come here,” Marcy Murdick added.

John and Marcy Murdick and their son also own Aaron Murdick’s Fudge in Mackinaw City.

In addition, other members of the Murdick clan own fudge shops in Traverse City and Charlevoix. Other fudge shops bear the family name but aren’t owned by members of the Murdick family.

Marcy Murdick said the family-owned shops are the only places shoppers can find “that real Murdick’s fudge, which is different than any other.”

John Murdick said business at the new shop has been good so far, and the new neighbors have been welcoming.

“We’ve been encouraged. A lot of the local people have been telling us … they think we’ll do really well here. They’re glad that we’re here.”

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Information from: The Saginaw News, http://www.mlive.com/saginaw

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