Go for the good stuff this Valentine’s and buy her Sir Wigglesworth Fudge!
A hint to the new guys out there for Valentine’s Day this year.
Skip the heart-shaped box at the convenience store. Who knows when that stuff was made. You don’t want to be the guy who gives his girl cheap chocolate whose edges have turned dry and white with unknowable age.
Don’t be that guy.
Be the guy who delights his gal with a box of Sir Wigglesworth fudge from Mud Pies in downtown Salado.
Simply put, there are not enough superlatives to describe the fudge from Mud Pies. Smooth, thick, creamy, rich and dense are just a few.
And the selection of flavors from peanut butter to white chocolate to amaretto to the subtly-flavored sea salt and you can be a winner this Valentine’s.
Titia Califano also offers handmade chocolate-dipped strawberries every Valentine’s day that can be picked up from her shop the day they are made!
Titia has been making fudge using the recipes and equipment from Sir Wigglesworth since 2003. It was providence and accident that Titia became a fudge maker.
“I knew that Susan Stockton was downsizing Sir Wigglesworth due to her husband’s and her own health,” Titia recalls. “I wanted to purchase the glass case that showcased her fudge.”
“Unbeknownst to me she (Susan) already had a plan in place for me that I had no idea about and that my time would soon be split between my Mud days and Fudge days,” Titia said.
Titia was told by the Stocktons and Gwen Dalton, that “We’ve been thinking about it and praying about it and not only do we think you need the fudge case, but we believe you need the fudge business.”
“Though it takes many hours to create a batch,” she says, “the fudge is at times as much fun as working in clay for me in trying to come up with new recipes and thinking of what Susan would like or not like. I a truly thankful for both gifts of mud and fudge.”
Titia came to Salado in 1993 to open the Village Potter. “A few months earlier, I had started a pottery business in my laundry room, which was no larger than eight feet by 15 feet. We then moved into the garage of our home in Temple.”
With the help of friends and family who collected $25,000 for the purchase of the building at #6 N. Main St. from R.B. and Margaret Payton, Titia was able to open Village Potter in October 1993. Her family lived in a space of 35 sq. ft. in the back of the business for the first two-and-a-half years while the front of the house was retail space.
“I decided in 1998 that 1,700 feet of retail space was too much for myself to laboriously continue working around-the-clock to make enough pottery to fill,” she says. “I wanted a smaller shop built directly onto the Studio.”
In 1999 that became “Mud Pies Pottery” which is where the business has been located ever since.
“The name was lovingly suggested by Susan Stockton, Artist and owner of “Sir Wigglesworth’s.”
“I will joyfully tell you today I give Susan & “Papa John” Stockton & God all the praise, glory, and honor to be a business that was started by His hand through His people,” she says. “I am blessed to still be in business today through all the ups and downs that we all have experienced here.”
“I’m an art major who became a potter who is blessed to be a fudge maker,” she said.
At the time she said it, Titia was up to her elbows in mud making a batch of pottery Egg Cookers. She has fired and sold more than 10,000 of them since the first ones was made in 1994.
Titia learned to throw pottery in 1981 at Harding University in Arkansas working on her bachelor’s degree in art.
“You had to be a junior before your hands could hit the clay,” she said. “I spent every weekend and most nights in the ceramic studio and during class times watching my professor Paul Pitt, who still teaches ceramics, and mimicking his every move on the potter’s wheel.”
“The feeling that I could actually make something with my hands that people could use in their every day lives far surpassed the two dimensional art that I had been studying,” she said.
“I completely fell in love with the medium of clay and all the tasks of formulating glazes, firing in gas and electric kilns,” she said.
When she moved to Temple, she taught clay for adults and ran the Cultural Activities Center summer arts camp until opening the business in Salado.
Her favorite clay is Cinco Rojo, which bisque fires to 1945° F and glaze fires up to 2300° F.
In addition to her own work, Mud Pies features the pottery of Avlin and Jennifer Hoeksema from Spring Branch (“Jus Cuz Pottery & Artwork”). Emily Adams from Austin Texas who does animated face mugs (No-brainer ATX).
She also has space for the ceramics department at the University of Mary Hardin Baylor. Many of the students’ works are seen every November during the Empty Bowl Project, another love of Titia.