This month, our gorgeous May blog centrefold is Ian, Manager of the Bath shop since 2013. He heads a team which includes previous Spotlightee and assistant manager, Tia, alongside Breffni, Annalise and new member, Rob.
You’ll find them ‘slabbing and loafing’ about 25 tonnes of fudge a year, in a quaint little shop in historic Abbey Churchyard that dates back to the mid 1800s, and which Fudge Kitchen has occupied since 1985. Of that staggering mountain of deliciousness, 7 tonnes is Salted Caramel, which means, Ian calculates, ”I spend at least 10% of my life making Salted Caramel. Good Lord!”
Beaten only by such international landmarks as the Roman Baths, Bath Abbey, Pulteney Bridge, Royal Victoria Park and No.1 Royal Crescent, this little shop ranks #6 of 155 Things to do in Bath on Trip Advisor, and Ian clearly plays a big role in scaling that hit parade, as some of the reviews reveal. “The charming manager could talk you into buying anything!” said one impoverished customer. “Ian, the manager, was charismatic, fun and extremely knowledgable and, although we had great fun, I loved how passionate and geeky the staff were when it came to fudge,” posted another.
We love the fact that he takes the time to respond to the gushing reviews that they receive, occasionally unveiling hidden literary talents in doing so …
“There once was a fella called Darren
Better than any Tom, Dick or Sharon.
When he came to Fudge Kitchen
And his mouth started itchin’
He couldn’t leave till his wallet was barren.”
Don’t give up the day job, Ian, not least because it would be a desperate day for fudge lovers …
So Ian, tell us about beer, burgers, wrestling big dogs and an apparent Mary Poppins fetish …
- Name? Ian McCluskey
- Position? Manager
- Location? Bath
- How long have you worked at FK? 11 years? Roughly. Oh God.
- Favourite flavour? Peanut Butter and Chocolate
- Favourite FK product? The Fudge. Everything else is nice but the fudge is remarkable (if I’ve made it, of course).
- What do you like about your job? The fact that we get to ignore all standard customer service rules. We basically say anything we want and as long as you’re having fun then so do the customers.
- Favourite activities when you’re not at work? Playing music and boozing with board games. We also recently started a Fudge Kitchen Dungeons and Dragons game. NEEERRDDDS!
- Tell us something that might surprise us about you? You know that guy in that movie? You know the one? The one with the long black coat and the kung fu? Yeah that was me. Also I write musicals.
- What’s one thing you couldn’t live without? Beer. Have I said too much?
- What kind of music do you listen to? Rock, folk, blues, soul, punk. Never disco.
- What’s your favourite TV programme? Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip.
- If you had to eat one meal every day for the rest of your life, what would it be? BURGERS!
- Dog or cat person? Dogs, but big ones you can wrestle.
- Motto or Personal Mantra: “Things fit.” It’s simple, but they usually do.
- How long is a piece of string? 42
- If you could sell fudge to any person alive or dead who would it be? Terry Pratchett. God knows if he’d like, it but I’m a massive fan.
- What is the most overrated film of all time? Donnie Darko
- Star Wars or Star Trek? Wars.
- In the event of a zombie apocalypse where would you run to and what would be your weapon of choice? Norland school for posh nannies in Bath. It’s a severe building next to a supermarket with bricked up windows and wrought iron gates. I’d take a crowbar. And if I got bored I’d dress up like Mary Poppins.
- Who would play you in a film of your life? Hugh Laurie? Or that lady out of Bridesmaids, I think she’d nail it.