Did I just step into a confectionary shop straight out of Gatlinburg, Tennesse? There’s no “fudging” the truth on this. I can’t imagine a fudge shop in Calhoun County (or beyond) that can hold a candle to Dugger Mountain Fudge and Coffee Co., obscurely tucked away in Piedmont, Alabama. When you walk in, it feels like you’ve stepped back in time to when your grandparents were children. The shelves are stacked with old-fashioned candies and other treats, and the shop sports a combination of antique and Appalachian decor that is warm and inviting. While this novel shop offers multiple sugar-coated delights, the top prize goes to the amazingly delicious homemade kettle-cooked fudge!
The fudge is the main focus of this shop, opened in January of 2018 by Jennifer South. Her husband Greg South, who owns the adjoining Chief Ladiga Trading Post, shared that the vision was to “offer something of excellence to the community.” Greg and Jennifer had previously been the co-owners of The Solid Rock Cafe, a staple on North Center Ave. in downtown Piedmont for years. The cafe offered all kinds of breakfast, lunch, and dinner sandwiches, wraps, other cooked items, coffee, as well as live entertainment. Once its doors were closed, Jennifer had the desire to do something simpler, and she was already a skilled fudge maker, so a fudge shop was the perfect fit.
Made fresh daily, the fudge is absolutely amazing! The two main types are based on chocolate or vanilla recipes, but spring to all kinds of creative varieties. Being a chocolate lover, I sampled the Dark Chocolate Espresso and Chocolate Pecan, and it was a tough choice. I was surprised by how much I loved the rich, creaminess of the Espresso. But I did like the addition of pecans in the latter and settled on a square of it. A ¼ lb square retails for $4. While chocolate is my comfort zone, I wanted to branch out, and one particular recipe jumped out at me–Banana Pudding! Loaded with a banana-pudding base, old-fashioned meringue, and cookie crumbs, and lined with vanilla wafers, this fudge was a must-try. I was not disappointed. Eating bites of it while sipping coffee was like sitting at Grandma’s kitchen table in the afternoon, partaking of the actual dessert.
Some of the other unique recipes of fudge offered at Dugger Mountain Fudge and Coffee Co. include:
- Rocky Road
- Almond Joy
- Chocolate M&M (and Chocolate Marshmallow M&M)
- Dark Chocolate Salted Caramel
- Birthday Cake
- Salted Snickers
- Maple Bacon
- Maple Walnut
- Cotton Candy
- Chewy Praline
- White Chocolate Reeses
- Chocolate Peanut Butter Swirl
- Chocolate Toffee
They even offer a “Fudge of the Month Club” where fudge addicts can have 6 different gourmet recipes shipped to their door once monthly for $25/month. It’s great to know you don’t have to travel to Piedmont to regularly enjoy this incredible fudge.
The Coffee and Other Local Products
Duggar Mountain Fudge and Coffee Co. feature multiple locally-owned products in their shop for sale. One example is the Duggar Mountain Coffee Brand, locally roasted by Called Coffee Company of Anniston, Alabama, which in turn is sourced by farmers in Peru. Dugger Mountain offers regular brews, cappuccinos, lattes, frappuccinos, espressos, and all kinds of unique latte flavors for their specialty brews: Dugger Mountain Mocha, Nutty Irishman, Baby Bear, Papa Bear, Frosty Mountain Mocha, and more. Other drinks they specialize in include fresh smoothies.
Another treat in this shop is the Gourmet Popcorn, supplied by a local Georgia vendor in flavors like Caramel Pecan, Strawberry Cheesecake, Buffalo Cheddar Ranch, and Dark Chocolate Caramel Sea Salt, to name a few. Multiple unique blends of cotton candy are also a treat. And they even sell Jude’s Bees local honey, harvested in Spring Garden, Alabama by Jude Kiser, a youth who spins and bottles his own honey fresh from his apiary on Terrapin Creek. The honey is sold raw and unfiltered.
Food and Other Desserts
There’s more to be had at this wonderful store, for example, lunch sandwiches. Greg, Jennifer’s husband, shared that she stole his heart with her recipe for chicken salad, which they offer on the menu as “Mama Bear’s Best Chicken Salad on Croissant.” There are several other sandwich options as well as hearty soups of the day. For breakfast, they sell cold items like a Smoothie Bowl or Fruit and Yogurt Parfait, or something hot like the Hot Ham or Bacon & Cheese Croissant or Avocado Toast.
Visitors can also purchase and snack on Fresh Roasted Nuts, or chill with a Hershey’s brand ice cream cone (a personal favorite brand of mine–their chocolate makes my top five list of best chocolate ice cream brands). Other favorite treats include pretzels, pecan turtles, and a variety of pastries that are excellent pairings for their coffees.
If you haven’t made a trip to Dugger Mountain Fudge and Coffee Co. already, you can find them at 614 North Main St., Piedmont, Alabama. For more info, call (256) 792-9400.
The watermelon fudge is my personal favorite.