Turning Stone Casino: A customer story

This casino wins customers over with freshly made fudge

Wendy George, Opal's Confectionery

The first thing you notice about Opal’s Confectionery, located right in the middle of the Turning Stone Resort Casino in Verona, NY, is its large display filled with colorful, luscious fudge.

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The first thing you notice about Opal’s Confectionery, located right in the middle of the Turning Stone Resort Casino in Verona, NY, is its large display filled with colorful, luscious fudge. “Selling fudge has made Opal’s more of an attraction,” says Wendy George, who has worked there for 13 years. “You can smell the fudge as you walk down the hallway and (that) draws people right to the shop.”

George, a baker by training who had never worked with fudge before, finds producing the treat provides special opportunities to be creative. “It lets you use your artistic abilities to make different designs and swirls and different flavors matched together,” she says.

She’s also emphatic about how much she likes Calico’s fudge. “I’ve tried other fudge products,” she says. “I feel Calico is the one I can work with the best.”

Extending Her Reach through Fudge

More recently, according to George, she’s started introducing fudge to different locations. For example, she now packages fudge for sale in other outlets in the casino. She also includes fudge in VIP amenity baskets she puts together for guests staying in the resort. And she’s begun packaging fudge for sale in SavOn gas stations, which are run by the Oneida Indian Nation, the owner of the Turning Stone.

For George, selling fudge and operating a candy concession is a perfect fit for a casino. “It’s a  great place to go get a cup of coffee and enjoy the atmosphere,” she says. “We’re in a candy shop. We’re in a casino. Let’s just have fun.”

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    For many retailers, fudge is more than a popular item for sale. It’s the lion’s share of profits, too. At Kittery Trading Post, for example, fudge accounts for about $250,000 in revenue and sells at a 60% gross profit margin. According to a Kittery Trading Post executive, that’s especially outstanding when compared to all other products, which have a 35% to 38% margin. What’s more, fudge produces the highest dollar per square foot of any item in the store.