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!