The Nutmeg Fudge Company, Torrington
We always hear that Connecticut’s post-industrial cities are “on the cusp” of revival. Norwich, Hartford, Bristol, New Britain, Torrington… One “mixed use” project here, one factory converted to open concept lofts there… the cycle has been going on for decades.
And in some instances, it’s at least partially true. When I look at Torrington, though, I kind of like what I’m seeing in the downtown core. Instead of “new” stuff, they are repurposing old buildings in funky and interesting ways. Art galleries, book stores, coffee shops, and there are some decent restaurants popping up as well. I like it.
The Nutmeg Fudge Company is right in the thick of it, occupying the space left vacant by Hatfield & Company Jewelers when it opened in 2021. The owner, Kristy Barto, previously had a pop-up fudge shop in a nearby former Subway shop and was successful enough at that to make a go at this.
Actually, Barto worked in the hotel and hospitatlity industry for 20 years until COVID hit and screwed that whole business sector up. She’d always enjoyed making creative fudges which led to her pop-up which led to her store which led to her store’s inclusion on the CTMQ Connecticut Chocolate Trail which led to my visit which led to this page’s existence.
A page which, like many pages here, I have no authority to write. A text with my wife, to hammer that point home:
Oh, you didn’t know Hoang had the mouth of a sailor in private? Sorry to ruin your image of her. On the opposite end of the spectrum is Kristy Barto. Exclamation points and joy:
I’m Kristy Barto and built my career in hospitality! My hobby has always been baking and I love being creative in the kitchen. Falling in love with fudge-making was natural, it involved my favorite things: pleasing people, getting creative and all things chocolate!
I enjoy hearing from my customers and especially love getting requests for unique flavors! My family helps by not only being supportive, but they are my tried and true taste-testers! Life is about balance and a little fudgy-goodness just tips the scales in the best way! I hope you will have a taste and smile, whether it takes you back to grandma’s house or just pleases your palette, you will have made my day better and I hope I will have done the same for you!
I will say this: my wife knows her @%##$ palate from her @%##$ palette. But I digress. (Sorry, it’s misspelled in the beer world so much it’s a meme. And it annoys me.)
The shop space is quite nice and it even has seating. The color PALETTE here matches the enthusiasm of the owner’s words above. It’s pink! It’s cute! It’s fun!
Upon entering, I was confronted with choice paralysis. I only know fudge to be fudge, and I didn’t see Hoang’s penuche. The Nutmeg Fudge Company makes all sorts of fudges like pistachio, mimosa, Butterfinger, banana creme, and more.
(They absolutely do make and sell penuche, but it’s so delicious – apparently – that it was sold out at the time of my visit.)
Barto makes all her fudges right here, in a fudge kitchen in the back. I was impressed with the volume and variety of fudges. In fact, the whole operation seemed to be well-run; especially for a relatively new venture.
I bought a block of peanut butter fudge and another chunk of spicy Mexican chocolate fudge (or something like that). I picked up some old timey candy for my son and that was that. I notice that they serve Canton Creamery ice cream here as well during the warmer months.
I was curious what Hoang thought of the fudges and judging by her immediately slicing off healthy pieces from both blocks and remaining silent for a few minutes, I knew they were a hit. I rather liked them as well, but they were disappeared to her home office’s Secret Mom Drawer that I never knew existed until I went looking for something recently. @%##$ Secret Mom Drawer!
Hats off to Ms. Barto for changing careers and taking the risk that she did during the pandemic. Downtown Torrington seems to be coming to life and I hope she is successful in this venture. The fudges are great, the shop is inviting and fun, and heck, I’ll definitely pop in again to score some of that penuche stuff.