The Oldest Fudge Shop On Mackinac Island In Michigan, May’s Candy Shop Is A Beloved, Family-Run Business
By Sarah McCosham|Published May 09, 2022
I write like it's my job - because it is! I have a Master's in English and love words: crossword puzzles, Scrabble games, Wordle, and, of course, good, old-fashioned books.
I'm a writer and editor at OnlyInYourState, and a contributing writer at Cincinnati Magazine. I love the Great Outdoors and am endlessly awestruck by this beautiful country of ours. Coffee keeps me going, yoga keeps me sane, my kids keep me grounded, and my writing keeps me inspired.
Cuisine is one of the most essential parts of a culture; and here in the U.S., it’s what distinguishes and defines each of the 50 different and diverse states that form our country. In many states, even a particular food or dish signifies the state itself (word enthusiasts know this as synecdoche). In Maine, there’s the lobster roll. Kentucky? Bourbon! Texas: barbecue. Wisconsin is cheese. And Michigan? Fudge. In fact, in the Great Lakes State, there’s one region, in particular, that’s not just the fudge capital of the state; it’s the top fudge producer in the country.
Mackinac Island is one of the most charming places in the country, period. Located on Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, Mackinac Island is a delightful little coastal locale that enjoys a laid-back, old-fashioned way of life. In this no-car city, you’ll find residents and visitors walking, biking, and even enjoying horse-drawn carriage rides around town, making for an incredibly endearing experience and a welcome reprieve from the rest of the world. Vehicles aside, Mackinac Island is perhaps best-known for its amazing fudge — the island has 14 fudge shops that collectively make more than 10,000 pounds of fudge per day during the peak season. Within this Willy Wonka wonderland, May’s Candy Shop is a fourth-generation, family-run confectioner that’s not only the town’s oldest it’s also the best and most beloved business in Michigan.
Interested to learn about other unique American small businesses? Our 2022 Small Business Spotlight series highlights the often-overlooked work of small business owners across the country, from Massachusetts to Southern California.
Editors Note: May’s Candy Shop is temporarily closed for the winter but will reopen in spring 2023.
Many thanks to Heather May for sharing the story and mission of her family’s beloved small business in Michigan. Learn more about May’s Candy Shop at its website, Facebook, and Instagram pages, and visit the sweet shop at 7351 Main St, Mackinac Island, MI, 49757.
Of course, May’s is just one of the many long-standing establishments that are part of the vibrant small business community in Michigan; please nominate your favorite attractions and businesses for a chance to be featured in an upcoming Only In Michigan article. And be sure to follow Only In Michigan on Facebook and Instagram to learn about the Great Lakes State’s most incredible places, attractions, and events.
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