Sweetness goes a long way at Cuba’s newest business enterprise. It’s in rich supply in the delicious, creamy chocolate, peanut butter, caramel, even strawberry cheesecake fudge Meredith Doyle sells to benefit the Palmer Opera House in Cuba.
Starting a business had always been a dream of the SubCon employee, a dream she never stopped believing in.
“It’s always been a dream of mine to have a business and I’ve always loved fudge. So it’s a perfect match,” she said, adding she continues to work three days a week at SubCon.
“I love seeing everyone come in.”
She talked the idea over with her parents, Connie and Michael, who assisted with the purchase of the fudge kettle and other items needed to open the fudge shop in the Opera House.
Cuba’s Friends of Architecture, under Michael’s leadership, began restoration of the antiquated opera house 10 years ago and is now operating it as a business incubator.
In addition to the Sweet Meredith Fudgery, it’s home to the Cuba Cheese Museum, The Perfect Blend coffee shop; and Light of the Moon, a uniquely creative consignment shop. All rent proceeds support the opera house.
“It makes me feel really good that I can sell fudge that benefits the Opera House,” Meredith said. “I get to see lots of people and that feels good.”
“Meredith’s pretty independent,” Michael said, “she only needs a little help.”
The Friends of Architecture wrote its first grant for reconstruction for $.5 million.
“There were a lot of naysayers in the beginning,” Michael said.
“There was just a handful who believed the opera house was worth saving.”
After another grant came the hard work of demolition, cleaning, and restoration.
Today, the economic development project is a beehive of activity in a village that, like other New York State towns and villages, is reinventing itself with an eye toward customer service as well as economic development.