Geoff Cordell takes over Pepper Lane Fudge and Sweets in preparation for the retirement of his mom, Deb Sensenig.
I am sure that you are familiar with the saying “it’s like being a kid in a candy store”. Well that is exactly what life was like for me as a young boy. My family moved to Intercourse PA in 1977 and that fall my mom got a part time job at Jim Garrahy’s Fudge Kitchen in Kitchen Kettle Village. When she came back to work in the Spring of 1978 she was promoted to manager and never looked back.
As a kid I have vivid memories of spending summers riding my bike through the town of Intercourse with my friends. We would go to Zimmerman’s Store, the Lunch Basket, hang out at Intercourse Park and watch the softball games and of course we would always take a ride to Kitchen Kettle where I would always stop at the fudge shop. Everyone always said how lucky I was and that I must get all the fudge that I wanted. I am sure that I did although that wasn’t what I liked about it. The best part of being at the fudge shop was the people that worked there and that family feeling that was felt throughout the village.
In 1985 I started working at the shop and spent the better part of the next 3 years working along side some great people. Some I had known in high school, some went to other schools in the area, but we all got along great and had a blast. When my parents had the chance to purchase the shop from the original owner in 1999 they jumped at the opportunity. The name was immediately changed to Pepper Lane Fudge and Sweets after its’ location in the village along Pepper Lane.
Over what will be a career that has spanned 40 years my mom has employed hundreds of people all of whom have become part of her family. She has seen countless teenagers turn into adults, many of whom have gone on to do great things and become wonderful people. What is consistent is that they were all better off in some way or another because of their time at the fudge shop. She has been a boss, a friend and a teacher, all while operating a successful business. She has met tens of thousands of people many of whom return each year and ask to see her as she has made a special connection with them on some level. She has seen generations of families come back to the village all talking about the “lady in the picture” who makes the fudge. The bus drivers and tour guides who frequent the village all know who she is as well and when she isn’t there they make sure we tell her that they stopped by and said hello.
Now I have the same opportunity to work with people and affect their lives in a positive manner. I am very much looking forward to this chance and relish the opportunity to do so. The best part of it all is, I get to do it while making candy! I am having a fantastic time so far, re-learning the business making new acquaintances within the village and meeting all the people that come in and out of the shop on a daily basis.
I can only hope to fill the giant chocolate filled shoes that my mom will leave behind. I know for sure that no matter what happens I will have a SWEET time trying…..
By Geoff Cordell, Pepper Lane Fudge and Sweets