May’s is currently the oldest fudge shop on Mackinac Island. Our fudge business started in 1881 in Atchison, Kansas. Eventually it migrated up to Mackinac Island. Harold May, came to the island in the 1930s to work for Murdick’s. When Murdick’s decided to leave, Mr. May decided to stay and he brought his family business to the island.
You're probably wondering why fudge is so famous here on Mackinac Island. The answer is that people love fudge! In the 1940s when our country was going through WWII and was still in a depression, the US had to go through sugar rationing to keep food supplies available to all. Since we couldn’t buy all the sugar we wanted, we could only make a certain amount each day. Harold May decided to only make fudge in the mornings and open the stores at noon every day, selling only 1 lb of fudge per customer. Because people loved our high quality fudge, and our dedication to keeping our business open for them all summer long, customers lined up outside for their share of fudge and we would sell out in two hours! Finally, when WWII ended and the US was coming out of the depression, people remembered what we did to keep our fudge fresh and available to them, which is how the May family made fudge famous!
By the 1970's tourism on the island started booming and May's became well known for its candy. President Gerald Ford even made a personal visit to May's Candy during his visit to Mackinac Island on July 13th, 1975. To this day, May's is the only fudge shop that has been visited by an American president! Today, Harold's son, Marvin May and his family, continue to manage and operate the candy business on Mackinac Island. With five generation of candy makers, the tradition of "Famous Mackinac Fudge ®" still lives on.