Wild Horse Mountain Fudge Factory: A one-of-a-kind place, for a one-of-a-kind experience

By staff writer Jessica Bartel
With an eye for possibilities, a creative side and an entrepreneur mind, Mike Hughes is a man of many trades. As a young man on family trips, Hughes remembers traveling through North Texas and stopping along Highway 82 at a gas station just west of Nocona. Years later, Hughes stopped off at that old gas station to find it vacant and run down. He and wife Tammy managed to get information on the piece of property and bought it. Today the site is unrecognizable. Adorned with Mike Hughes Ranch signs, the two have made it a comfortable home.
Five years ago, Hughes stumbled upon his, “next great idea” while at a flea market when an unknown, shiny object caught his eye. Without knowing its identity, Hughes offered the seller $100 and took it. The large, stainless steel, heavy object looked to Hughes like a paint mixer.
After getting it home and making a thorough investigation, the two found a serial number, manufacturing number and address from Amityville, New York. After one quick phone call the mystery object was determined to be a fudge maker capable of making 32 pounds at one time.
The fudge making machine works as a double boiler with the bottom portion filled with water that cooks and stirs the decadent mixture up to 160 degrees. Through some homework, Hughes found out a new machine at the time sold for $4,750, which today would be $5,200.
With no formal training in how to make fudge, Hughes and wife Tammy enlisted the help of the folks in New York for questions, samples and recipes. Tammy had grown up making the dessert with her mother so the task was not completely unfamiliar to her. After several trial batches Tammy came to find the essential flavors that went over well: chocolate, chocolate pecan and a brown sugar fudge called Penuche. To read more pick up the April 2014 issue of North Texas Farm & Ranch.

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