The Story of Zak & Mac
Our story begins with a young man beginning his journey in the 1960’s.
Gary “Mac” had just finished his education at the University of Detroit. Wondering what should be his next move in life, Mac decided to pursue an opportunity stirring fudge at Murdick’s Fudge in Mackinac Island. This experience lasted for 3 summers as he learned the ins & outs of the sweet business of fudge.
At the end of his 3 year experience, the Vietnam War had begun & everyone was warned about the draft. Mac made the decision to join the Air Force so he scheduled an interview with a recruiter. At Mac’s sit down interview, the phone rang and the Sergeant had excused himself. When the Sergeant returned he informed Mac that JFK had just been shot & he had to be on his way. Stunned, he drove home sorrowfully and decided to let his fate be decided by the draft, which never came to his relief.
The idea to start a fudge shop began shortly afterward between 2 good friends and a couple of beers. Mac’s friend, Mort, began planning their first fudge shop in Sault Ste. Marie. Now let me set the record straight, Gary had plenty of experience stirring fudge but never had he actually made a full batch from start to finish. Mac & Mort decided it would be best to board up the windows to make sure no-one saw their experimental batches. At first the results were disastrous. Mac said you could either drink it with a straw or build a house with it. They would sneak it out at night and toss it in the woods to hide the evidence. Finally…it happened…they succeeded with a batch of Maple Fudge. It was smooth and creamy and delicious. Everything was smooth sailing from there! He named that first store Fudge Du Locke.
In 1976 the family took a vacation in Frankenmuth and so began Mac’s ventures here in town. In 1981 Mac would purchase the building that was known for many years as Zak’s Bavarian Kandy Haus. The name was established with the hope that his son, Zak, would one day take over. Making sure customers were treated like family when they walked through the door was very important to Mac. This idea has shown successful as Zak’s Kandy Haus has thrived for 30 years!
In 2016 Zak would repay the favor to his father. Just as his father had honored the store’s future within the name, Zak found it very important to honor its past as well. Now, being called Zak & Mac’s Chocolate Haus, we look forward to not only offering classic chocolates of the past but building a whole new product line for a new generation of chocolate connoisseurs.