Fudge Kitchen appoints Richard Parson as new managing director

British artisan confectionery firm Fudge Kitchen has named Richard Parson as its new managing director, who is set to drive the next chapter of the business after its founder Siân Holt stepped back from the business after a sudden illness last year, writes Neill Barston.

The Kent-based company, which marked its 40th anniversary in 2023, and has steadily expanded with a chain of six stores across the UK that have focused on delivering a wide range of seasonal flavours and fresh products that have stood it out amid a competitive marketplace.

Richard, who has previously stepped-up to become the company’s marketing and brand director for the business, explained that the company has thrived on its enterprising ethos instilled by its founder, which he explained that he is determined to continue in his new post as managing director.

Confectionery Production has previously charted the company’s progress over the years, including focusing on its main manufacturing facilities based at Wingham, near Canterbury, which have seen demand for its product ranges continue to expand.

As the business noted, during the past year, it has been steered by its Finance Manager Linsey Priestley since August 2023, Fudge Kitchen who brought a renewed strategic vision and deep operational insights, including enhanced quality-of-life benefits for all employees, as well as fostering a fairer working environment.

In a recent transition, the Board of Directors and Trustees appointed Richard Parson to succeed Linsey as Managing Director following her decision to step back from the position. Joining in January 2020, Richard’s tenure as Marketing & Communications Manager proved pivotal, navigating the company through the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic and spearheading sustainability initiatives, before moving up to become its brand director.

He expressed gratitude for the opportunity, acknowledging the legacy of both Linsey and Sian. Richard said: “I’m honoured to fill the role of Managing Director of such an inspiring company as Fudge Kitchen. I owe a debt of gratitude to our dedicated teams for their unwavering commitment to our mission of making the world a sweeter place, and for their personal support.”

As the company noted, it has now entered its second year as an employee-owned enterprise, building upon the original founding principles of its founder, Siân Holt, with the business now including a thriving e-commerce platform in addition to its renowned artisan production kitchen serving its operations, which are continuing to expand despite a backdrop of tests, including pressures on retail markets, as inflation continues to remain a factor across the broader food and drink sector.

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