The blog formerly known as   Fake Plastic Fish
July 15, 2008

Fudge and Styrofoam, a confusing combination

So, you guys know how much I love Fudge is My Life fudge sauce from San Francisco, right? I’ve gushed over it here and here and here. But I buy it only occasionally, one jar at a time, from the grocery store. (It’s pretty pricey.) So it was a huge surprise a few days ago when I opened my front door to find a big cardboard box from the Fudge is My Life company sitting on my porch.

I was pretty sure I hadn’t ordered it in my sleep. But I had my suspicions about who did send it, considering the mountain of Divine chocolate I had sent him and mom for Father’s Day. And I was right. The card inside read, “Happy Bday, Beth. Now both of our sweet tooths are happy! Ray.” Ray is my dad, and he had waited all this time to send a birthday gift (my birthday is in January) because I kept saying I didn’t need anything… especially not anything new. But really, who doesn’t need a case of fudge sauce?

In addition to the note, the case also came with…

Oy! What’s a plastic-free fudge-lovin’ fish supposed to do? It was too much packaging to mail back to the company. And besides, this company is in San Francisco. I could return it to them myself! So I called the Fudge is MY Life company, and this is where the story gets funny and the issue confusing. The phone was answered by an older woman’s simple, “Hello?”

Me: Um… is this the Fudge Is My Life Company?

She: Oh yes, sorry. I thought you were going to be someone else.

Me: Oh. I’m a customer. Have I reached your home?

She: Yes, in fact my office is in my home. How can I help you?

Me: Is this actually Lillian Maremont [the founder of the company and creator of the original recipe back in 1963]?

She: Yes, that’s me! [laughing]

Me: Well! [Beth loses it and starts to gush…] I just have to tell you how awesome your fudge sauce is. It’s the best I’ve ever had. I love it so much. I just received a case in the mail from my dad.

She: Oh, do you live in Oakland? I remember your order. I processed it myself.

Me: [Remembering the original purpose of my call…] I do love the fudge sauce, but it came packaged with all these Styrofoam peanuts and bubble wrap, and for environmental reasons I don’t want to throw it away, so I was wondering if I could bring it back to you to reuse.

She: Oh, well, I guess you could. But I live out the in avenues in San Francisco… kind of far out for you. Why don’t you take it to the warehouse company we use in Emeryville? [She gives me the name and address of the warehouse, as well as directions for how to get there.]

Me: Okay, I’ll take it to them. Just wondering… have you considered using biodegradable packaging rather than Styrofoam?

She: We would love to, and we have tried the corn-based peanuts. But they’re just too expensive for us right now. And I’m not sure any other type would protect the glass jars enough. I just really want to make sure that my fudge arrives in perfect condition for my customers to enjoy.

Me: Well, I hope the price comes down for you so you can switch away from the Styrofoam, and I’ll take this material over to the warehouse.

And then I gushed some more about the fudge sauce and told her the story of Axelle’s and my taste test and how hers won hands down over King’s Cupboard. And she said I made her day. And we both hung up happy, although I was some somewhat conflicted. What a nice lady! Probably someone’s grandma. And living in this world doing what she loves and spreading happiness. And Styrofoam. And plastic bubble wrap. Things aren’t always as black and white (or brown and white in this case) as they seem, are they?

So I strapped that big box of plastic onto my bike basket…

Oh yes I did! And rode it out to Emeryville, where the warehouse receptionist very graciously accepted it from me and said they would reuse it.

(I LOVE MY NEW BIKE! I can’t wait to find out what else I can strap onto it.)

Final analysis: I had a great conversation with a lovely person and made her day. I returned some plastic and Styrofoam to the company without using any extra petroleum to get it there. I learned how to transport big stuff on my bike. And I got a buttload of chocolate fudge sauce. I think I win!

However… I can’t open any of the fudge sauce jars until AFTER my vision quest on the 21st, as I’m preparing to fast. And even after, I do think it’s too much for me. I think I’ll be giving some away to my fudge-loving friends. If you love chocolate as much as I do and live in the Bay Area (or are planning a trip to the Bay Area soon — and you know who you are) let me know, and I’ll save some for you. Seriously. You’ll be doing me a favor. Please don’t leave me to eat the whole thing and then hate myself afterwards!

20 Responses to “Fudge and Styrofoam, a confusing combination”

  1. nollij says:

    Beth, I think you need an Xtracycle, and one of their offices is in your neighborhood! It would make trips for groceries (and just about everything else) a lot easier than just the basket, and the more you ride, the more fudge sauce you can eat!

  2. Johnna says:

    What a great story! I’m going to check out that fudge sauce. And hey, it was great meeting you at BlogHer today.

  3. Marilyn Terrell says:

    Incredible self-control, leaving all those jars of fudge untouched until after your fast. But don’t you think you’d have better visions if you ate just one jar first?

  4. jennconspiracy says:

    KITTY! Soots & Arya, you're so CUTE – OMG – just like Dobson and George in the boxes…


    Beth, were you saying something?

    Ohh… chocolate!

    I think we need a kitties and chocolate morning.

  5. har mar says:

    obviously i want some! maybe i’ll find a way to use it in some yummy cupcakes for when you come to visit me at work!

  6. Melissa says:

    I need to get a bike like that! It looks very snazzy! I love the big basket!

  7. Beth Terry says:

    OMG – we don’t just share a name, we share the same addiction. And I would have done EXACTLY what you did. LOVE IT! I swear to God that post could have been written by me. Maybe the most important thing this proves is that names DO mean something, and we all need to be mindful when we name our kids! LOL
    Beth Terry – in Phoenix

  8. KatieB says:

    What an awesome story. Thank you for sharing. I think you should just plan to enjoy your fudge slowly over time, rather than feel guilty about eating it. It is a truly lovely gift. I am so glad you got to take the packaging back to the company.

  9. Robj98168 says:

    That sounds like it would be worth risking a diabetic coma- bet it is good!

  10. Allie says:

    That’s great! Awesome that you got a box that big out there on your bike!

  11. yoel says:

    What a perfect day! Reasonable old people are so wonderful, as is a surprise box o’ fudge sauce!!

    I bet they’d take the jars back too, when you’re done in a couple days.

  12. csim33 says:

    I so wished I were visiting your area. I would take that fudge off your hands in a heartbeat!! :)

  13. Clif says:

    Everyone, and especially those who reads this blog should check out this link…it is astounding and powerful. I highly recommend passing it along to everyone you know.

  14. Allison says:

    Wait, wait wait, you keep that fudge sauce all to yourself, unless it expires. Then in that case if you have extra I live in the East Bay….ha ha.

    And wait, wait, wait…you road to Emeryville from Oakland? How long did that take? Great job! Are the roads friendly for bikes?

    Enjoy your sauce.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Oh how I wish it was sold somewhere near me. It sounds so good.


  16. arduous says:

    Mmmmm, fudge sauce. I would love some fudge, but I don’t want to steal your fudge. Just bring a little (if there is any left) so I can have a taste. :)

    And what a nice lady! You’re right. Things really aren’t as black and white as they may seem.

  17. Rosa says:

    What an awesome story!

    And that picture is one of the best arguments for a stepthrough frame I’ve ever seen.

  18. Vanessa says:

    She does sound like a super sweet old lady! And, you know, I really love fudge. And I’ll be in the Bay Area soon. I’m not sure if I’m the one you are referring to, but if you are looking for someone to help with all that fudge, I’d love to be helpful! ;-)

  19. Tanya says:

    Hi Beth-

    I actually met the lady you spoke to on the phone and she was a v. sweet woman. She was handing out samples of her fudge sauce at Rainbow Grocery one day. That’s how I too became an addict of her fudge sauce! :)

  20. Burbanmom says:

    Wow. That sounds like the best day ever!!