Val Ischi lifts a pan of Amaretto Chocolate Swirl at her new Alaska Fudge and Gifts shop next to the DQ in Soldotna.
Back in the 1970’s folks with VW’s and other foreign autos depended on Bill Ischi Motors at the bridge in Soldotna to keep their vehicles running over Alaska’s pot-holed roads. Today the Ischi family tradition of service and fair prices continue at the Dairy Queen and the new Alaska Fudge and Gifts shop at the very same location. For more than two decades Peter Ischi and his wife Val have owned and operated the DQ in Soldotna, and last month opened the new Alaska Fudge and Gifts right next door. “We’ve been talking about a fudge shop for years and this summer my son, daughter and sister decided it was time to give it a try, the space was open the time was right so we decided to go for it. The fudge seemed like a great idea because no one was doing it yet and we could produce it right next door at the Dairy Queen and combining it with a nice selection of Alaskan gifts seemed to be a perfect fit and so far it’s worked out great, many folks come in pick up their favorite fudge and go next door for an ice cream,” said Ischi.
The home made deep dish fudge all comes from proven popular recipes that include Amaretto Chocolate Swirl, Chocolate Pecan, Chewy Praline, Caramel Nut, and a dozen other favorite mouth watering fudge delights that you can buy by the pound without gaining pounds, “That’s right as long as you don’t eat it and give it away you can’t gain a pound, but fudge is a make you happy soul food and is always a welcome gift, and with every pound of fudge you buy, we give you a half pound free, and seriously we do have a sugar free fudge for diabetics or people on a sugar free diet,” said Val.
Val and Mellissa Cue have also assembled a great selection of traditional Alaskan gifts that includes knives, sweatshirts, cards, candles, dolls and a wide variety of items popular with visitors to the Peninsula, “Because we opened during the tourist season we brought in a lot souvenir items, but now we are switching over and adding things that will be popular with local shoppers as well as the tourists, so we intend on serving both markets,” explained Ischi. Alaska Fudge and Gifts is a family business and includes Peter and Val’s son Phillip, who is presently playing hockey in Switzerland, daughter Whitney, who is playing hockey in Minnesota for Bethel University, and Val’s sister Debbie, “We wanted it to be a family thing so the kids could get started in business which has been an Ischi family tradition here for many years,” said Val. Right now you can find great deals on Alaskan t-shirts and sweatshirts at Alaska Fudge and Gifts, “Also after getting a lot of requests for Alaskan Grown, we recently got the Alaskan Grown t-shirts, sweatshirts and apparel with sizes for little kids who were born and raised here that are very popular with local kids and we have adult sizes as well,” added Ischi. For a sample taste of any fudge that sparks your fancy, stop by Alaska Fudge and Gifts at the Soldotna Bridge next to the Dairy Queen, or 262-7704 for more information.
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