Financial Literacy - Careers
Off-the-beaten-path careers

Candy manufacturer

Amanda Jones ditched her 9-to-5 job a few years ago to make fudge.

She now works up to seven days a week as head of Brooklyn Fudge in Brooklyn, N.Y., and although she now works a lot more than she used to, she wouldn't trade her job for any other.

"I worked for corporate America for a long time and made a lot of money there, but I didn't really feel like what I did mattered," Jones says.

The native Virginian says that she was always inspired by her Aunt Mae's southern cooking and found that it relaxed her to re-create her aunt's recipes.

It was that combination that coaxed Jones out of the cubicle and into her kitchen where she initially started the business.

"I started playing around with my aunt's fudge recipe because it was something I enjoyed doing and before I knew it, I had 40 pounds of it so I started trying to educate myself on how I would go about selling it," she says.

Since 2006, when Jones first started selling her handmade confections at local craft fairs, the business has evolved to the point where she now fields orders from international clients and is looking for ways to improve packaging and shelf life.

Her uncanny ability to tinker around with flavors enables her to offer a product lineup that ranges from the relatively safe to the sublime. Standards include pecan and cinnamon-almond and seasonal varieties like blueberry vodka, pumpkin pie and absinthe.

What they do: Produce, package and market sweets for the retail and corporate markets.

Pros: You get to produce a product that most people find pleasurable to consume.

Cons: You may have to wear several hats until you can hire employees. You have to work according to your production and marketing goals and customer demand for your product.

Education required: A basic affinity for cooking and culinary background is recommended as well as knowledge of FDA labeling requirements.

Salary range: Net profits vary with $40,000 to $50,000 per year on the low end, according to Jones. Based on her current pricing structure, Jones should have grossed about $1,120 from her initial 40-pound batch. She anticipates a much higher income going forward. "I think the goal is to become a million-dollar company."

Who this job is good for: People who enjoy cooking or baking and interacting with customers and suppliers.


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