I was born in Beverly, Massachusetts at 4:44 in the 4th month of the year of our Lord 1952. Pretty old, Huh? My formative years were spent in Hamilton, MA in a 1950s style, GI-bill subsidized neighborhood. There were always lots of kids to play with. We played wiffleball and hide and seek. We caught flying grasshoppers and swamp frogs. We made forts in trees and along the Miles River. In other words, I considered it an idyllic place to grow up.
My college years were spent in Manchester, New Hampshire at St. Anselm College. I was educated as a nurse. You see, my mother said that with a degree in Nursing I’d "always have a job". A Job…..what was she thinking?
I wanted a career, but the nursing thing kind of worked for me……. I’d get to wear a uniform everyday (and that was a big plus - You see I am what you might call fashionably challenged -I hate shopping) and meet cute eligible doctors. I worked at Lynn Hospital, which is now a Super Stop & Shop - so much for my mother’s big idea of always having a job!
I worked in the Intensive Care Unit, saving lives. I got to use the defibrillator and the doppler and all sorts of neat machines! I worked with great nurses: Joan, Terry, Dal, Paulette. Where are you guys? The doctors were all cute too!
My married life has been spent with Stuart Winfrey, a candy maker from way back! - so much for my cute doctor! We were married in 1978 and our twin sons were born in 1979. We started our business the day we brought them home from the hospital. Our beautiful daughter was born in 1981. Not bad, huh?
You might think that the allure of fine chocolates or the entrepreneurial spirit distracted me from my vocation as a nurse. Think again. No, it was the 500 diapers a week and 24 bottles of formula per day that took me away from my job. We both stayed home to care for our brood. We made fudge in the basement to pay the bills (and heat the house!) Not bad, I thought. I was well on my way to getting back to my plan: Being with people I enjoyed, having fun, building forts, and catching frogs. Life was good. Everyone was growing up healthy and happy which brings us to just about now.
Winfrey’s Fudge & Chocolates has grown into a rather large small business. We have four retail locations on the North Shore of Boston in Wenham, Stoneham, Rowley and Beverly.
Now the family is growing, our twin boys and daughter run the business (Stuart and I are still steering) but the best part is we have a third generation of candy entrepreneurs. Grandchildren!
Me? Well I continue to be with people I like and build forts, only now I call them candy stores.
And I chase frogs, only now I call them customers.
Some people say it’s a nice little place I’ve got here. They ask if I’ve been doing this all my life.
I usually say: "Not yet!”
The Winfrey Family