We had the good fortune of connecting with Mia Kelly and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Mia, is there something that you feel is most responsible for your success?
Quality and determination are the two synchronous factors that lead to the success of MMM Fudge. I use the best creams (organic Straus and organic coconut) and premium belgian chocolate to create the rich, not-too-sweet chocolate sauce that grew into MMM Fudge. I was willing to cold-call local grocers and specialty stores to get our product out there. No one will learn about your business if it lives inside your mind.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
MMM-Fudge is a gourmet chocolate treat that was born out of my obsession with hot fudge sundaes. I couldn’t find a fudge sauce that was “worth the calories”, so I started playing with different creams and chocolates until our final version was created. I couldn’t find what I wanted to I created it myself. I didn’t originally plan to turn it into a company, but my friends told me it was so good, I should sell it…so I did!.
I think I’m most proud of the fact that after six months in business, our fudge sauces were accepted into all the Erewhon Markets in Los Angeles! It’s been quite a ride…and my arm is incredibly sore from making all this fudge! I think Erewhon found value in selling MMM-Fudge because ingredients matter. And it’s silly delicious.
Anyone can end their night with a great idea, but waking up in the morning and turning that idea into a business is a challenge. It was not easy, but I reached out to other small businesses to get their input. I found everyone I approached was more than willing to share their experiences and they were excited that I started my journey.
My biggest challenge is securing a consistent supply chain for all my ingredients. Did you know there is a world-wide jar shortage? Exactly. I am still buying my jars at Target because the wholesale suppliers do not have the product I need. It is certainly not ideal, but it will get me through until I can secure the jars I need.
I want the world to know that before starting my company, I was a full time mom for 10 years. I had a biotech sales background and helped create LA Goes Pink for the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. This annual event raised over $1,000,000 for breast cancer research and we sponsored a researcher right here in LA. Every October, I will donate 25% of my sales to LA Goes Pink.
A little background on our logo…it’s an illustration of 3 girls and surfboard. This is a real picture in our house – our little one wasn’t there for the photo, so we added her in. All my girls have names that start with “M”, so “MMM-Fudge” was created. We wanted the logo to represent our family and I think we nailed it.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Will Rogers state park and beach, Topanga trails, Katsuya in Manhattan Beach followed by a walk on the pier at sunset, the Getty Villa gardens on a Sunday morning, the Huntington Library for a Saturday afternoon and a lunch in the Chinese gardens, a shopping stroll down Melrose and a lunch at Joan’s on 3rd, A stop by the Watts Tower, drive down Sunset Blvd. and a sunset drive along Mulholland heading east, a stop by the downtown market place and then across the street to the Bradbury Building, grabbing a hot dog at Pinks! In-and-Out Burger at LAX and watching the planes fly overhead!
Sunset at the Griffith Observatory and a night at the Greek Theatre and then another evening at the Hollywood bowl. Brunch at the Chateau Marmont, so much and so little time!
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
It takes a village! My husband, Michael, is my biggest supporter and without him, MMM-Fudge would still be waiting for a business license. My girlfriend, Maryann Castaldi, is an amazing graphic designer who is part of our team and created our adorable logo (which happens to be a variation of a real picture in our home). I am blessed with an amazing group of friends who volunteered their tastebuds to help me pinpoint the perfect blend of specific creams and chocolates that grew into MMM Fudge!