The aromas of chocolate, peanut butter, caramel and cherries mix with the scent of Jack Daniel’s whiskey at the Sweet Southern Spirit Bakery and General Store in Lynchburg. Employees at the shop offer a taste of the products and an experience that takes customers back in time. When fudge melts in your mouth, the taste of whiskey brings joy to your palate. Rum makes the flavor of key lime fudge richer. For fruit lovers, the store offers cherries, soaked in whiskey and covered with chocolate. The store also adds a pinch of mystique to the experience of southern hospitality.
DeeDee Limbaugh, manager of Sweet Southern Spirit Bakery and General Store, said the recipes for the varieties of fudge are secret. Limbaugh worked years for the company before owner Paige Jones shared the recipes with her.
The store opened its doors 14 years ago. Located on the square in Lynchburg, the home of Jack Daniel Distillery, Sweet Southern Spirit Bakery specializes in making a variety of fudge products, cakes and candies infused with spirits, said Limbaugh. She has worked at the store for seven years.
“I worked here for six years before I got the recipes,” Limbaugh said. “Our owner holds that dear to her. I’ve only been making the fudge for a year and a half now. We do fudge the old-fashioned way, with butter and marshmallow and milk.”
Then, Limbaugh infuses whiskey, rum or moonshine in the fudge to enhance its flavor and strengthen its Lynchburg character.
“Our most popular fudge, of course, is infused with Jack Daniel’s whiskey,” Limbaugh said. “We sell several different fudges made with Jack Daniel’s.”
Fudge infused with Jack Daniel’s whiskey draws customers more than any other delicious treat.
Limbaugh uses Jack’s Tennessee Fire, Tennessee Apple and Tennessee Honey for those types of fudge.
“We also do hand-dipped and handmade candies that are also infused with Jack Daniel’s products,” she said.
Limbaugh and Debbie Hart pour their love into the sweets they make. Hart makes the hand-dipped candies at the store.
“We do all different kinds of hand-dipped candies,” Limbaugh said. “Probably, our whiskey balls are the most popular. We take our whiskey fudge that’s infused with whiskey, then we roll those balls and dip them in different kinds of chocolate – white chocolate, milk chocolate and dark chocolate.”
In addition to the spirits-and-chocolate blend, the store has perfected the chocolate-and-bacon combination.
“Another very popular candy is our chocolate-covered bacon,” Limbaugh said. “We also do whiskey-infused, chocolate-covered bacon. And we have whiskey cherries. We soak cherries in whiskey for months at a time, and we dip those in milk chocolate, white chocolate and dark chocolate.”
One of the bestsellers is white chocolate whiskey pecan, which has “a good, rich whiskey flavor.”
“But we also infuse fudge with rum, and we have moonshine fudge,” she said. “We do several different Baileys recipes.”
Visitors will find at least 12 flavors of fudge at the store.
“Sometimes we offer 14 or 15 different flavors,” Limbaugh said.
Several types of “tipsy cakes” tempt customers from the shelves, as well.
While Limbaugh wants visitors to enjoy the taste of the sweets when visiting the store, the main goal is providing a positive experience.
Lynchburg is “just a fun, friendly town,” said Limbaugh.
“When people come to our store, we want them to have an experience. When they leave, we want them to say, ‘That’s a great town and those people that work in the fudge shop are super nice people.’ A lot of people don’t drink, so we can give them a little bit of whiskey taste in our cakes and our fudges. They don’t have to drink it out of a glass – it’s well known that Lynchburg is in a dry county. You can’t buy a bottle of Jack here, but we can sell you a cake with some Jack in it. You can also get fudges and other treats with Jack and give those to your family and friends since you can’t buy a bottle of whiskey here, unless you buy a souvenir bottle.”
Sweet Southern Spirit Bakery and General Store adds to Lynchburg’s charm and uniqueness.
“You can see fudge stores all over – every little town has one – but fudge infused with whiskey is really unique,” she said.
The store brings childhood memories to many of its visitors. And it offers a glimpse to the younger generation into the past.
“We sell vintage candies and vintage drinks in glass bottles,” Limbaugh said. “When most people come here, they say, ‘I feel like a kid again.’ It’s a step back experience. We are still old fashioned here. We have not stepped into the real world. We do it the old way and that adds to the experience of visiting Lynchburg in general.”
Visitors will also find a large selection of honey, sorghum, caramel and fudge sauces, “handmade using only the highest quality ingredients,” according to www.sweetsouthernspirit.com. The store offers Jack Daniel Distillery souvenirs, as well.
Sweet Southern Spirit Bakery and General Store is located at 197 Main St., Lynchburg and welcomes visitors every day. For more information, call 931-759-5531.