Kelly and Paul DeRocco, the entrepreneurial couple that put Sooke on the map with their business Fudge In A Round, have sold their business and are leaving Sooke, intent on exploring a new chapter in their lives.
The couple made the decision to sell the business due in part to some medical issues that have prevented them from taking the business to the next level.
“We actually never thought this would be anything but a little hobby when we started it, but once the ball started rolling, it was just incredible. It’s been an amazing ride,” said Kelly.
That ride included a few events that propelled the couple to international attention in November 2017 when they were featured on the popular CBC show, Dragon’s Den.
That appearance followed two star-studded forays to Los Angeles where the DeRocco’s were invited to take their unique fudge confections to a pre-Emmy Awards event and a few months later to the Oscars where their fudge was part of the celebrity swag bags.
“We came a lot farther than we ever imagined, but now it’s time to move on,” Kelly said.
The DeRocco’s were quick to say that the move has stirred some bittersweet emotions and that they are enormously grateful to people in Sooke who supported them as they grew their business.
“I’ll miss the Sooke Night Market and the community as a whole. There are so many wonderful people here,” Kelly said.
The couple’s move has involved a purging of nearly all of their personal possessions and a clean break with the past.
“Of course, we’ll never forget Sooke, but we made the decision to move on and we’re leaving here with just two totes of personal possessions. Everything else is being sold or will be staying here,” Kelly said.
It’s not the first time that the couple has made drastic changes in their lives.
They originally came to Sooke about 10 years ago when they decided to leave their steady, well-paying jobs in Ontario, pack their van, and move to the West Coast.
“All we knew was that the weather was better and that we wanted to try something new,” Paul said. “It was a real risk. We didn’t know if we’d find work, or what we’d be doing, but that was part of the adventure.”
The DeRocco’s current move is just as adventurous. They plan to initially travel to Panama where they have rented a house in a small village for three months. After that, the plans are fluid.
“We’ve talked about going to Mexico, and then maybe Spain, or Italy … who knows?” said Kelly, with a beaming smile.
“All I can say is that life is too short and if you really want to try something, you should just go do it.”
Paul agrees wholeheartedly.
“You have to live for today. The past is the past and the future is unknown. All you can be sure of is today and if you want to make a change in your life, you have to do it. It’s scary, but change is always scary. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do it.”
Asked if a Panamanian or Italian fudge stand is in their future, the couple both grinned broadly.
“Probably not, but who knows? That’s part of the adventure,” Kelly said.