We had the good fortune of connecting with Laurie Hudgins and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Laurie, what is the most important factor behind your success?
Faith. Family. Friends. My faith has been instrumental in keeping me going through the uncertainty of entrepreneurship.
None of this journey would be possible without the support of my family. My husband has been the single most important person by my side through this journey. From his previous extensive restaurant experience advice and guidance to him picking up my slack from household chores and children, I could not do this without him. Nor, would I want to!
My friends have been the biggest cheerleaders of this grand adventure. They never cease to amaze me with their support.
I’m incredibly grateful for the entire support system that has helped me get to where I am today.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
What began as a hobby farm and a means to provide fresh goat milk for my family evolved in to so much more over the past three years. By taking my love for food – REAL food, goat milk, and spending time in the kitchen, Jolly Acres Farms caramels was born. We handcraft traditional caramels the old fashioned way, small batched in copper pots and with wooden spoons. We use only the freshest ingredients in our caramels to ensure each batch is as perfect as the one before. And, when you’re using real food ingredients it makes that job so much easier. Did you know we don’t use corn syrup in any of our caramels? We use local clover honey and cane sugar to do all the sweet talking with our caramels. We began selling our caramels at local farmers markets across the area three years ago. From there we made the leap into storefronts across the DFW area. We even had our caramels being served on a California based airline before Covid reduced air travel last year. Our next move was that of our very own storefront, The Jolly Good Shop. We knew that we wanted to have a storefront in one of the historical buildings of Van Alstyne for several reasons. The first was that Van Alstyne was where I got my start selling my caramels at the local farmers market. I wouldn’t be where I am today if it weren’t for the support of that community. I wanted to be able to give something back to the people who helped propel this small town girl’s big time dream into a reality.
The other reason for wanting to plant our store in the historical section of this community is due to the explosive growth that is occuring in this area. The city planners have done a terrific job of planning for the influx of rapid growth. There is an excitement in the downtown area that is palatable. I just had to be a part of it!
Making the leap from farm markets to a brick and mortor location is both exhilerating and terrifying! But, finding the perfect location with a turn key kitchen AND a storefront was a dream come true! We’re cranking out not only our caramel, but many in house specialties such as lemon curd, jams and marmalades, fresh breads, and more. And, once the weather warms up we’ll be making ice cream, gellato, and sorbets to be sold by the pint.
The Jolly Good Shop is so much more than just a candy store, though. We’re a specialty foods shop with a focus on products ranging from gluten-free, low sugar and Keto, to even some Vegan products. We carry locally sourced meats, egss, produce, and low pasturized milk. And, a huge emphasis is placed on carrying Texas made products. Our store currently is made up of 85% of our products being made right here in Texas.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
For our friends that visit a trip to several of the local farmers’ markets is a must! What better way to get such a grand view of what our area has to offer? And, what better way to get some great eats! The DFW area is home to some of the most amazing artisans, makers, and chefs. It would be difficult to fit in all the great shops the area has to offer, but to name a few we would visit Local Yocal -both the market and the restaurant, Patina Green for the B.O.B., Harvest, Lettuce Indulge, Bon Appetite, Y’all, and Jafar’s Mediterranean.
But, my most favorite place would be our kitchen table. Maybe it’s not the most well known spot, but some of the very best meals and conversations have happened right smack dab in the middle of my kitchen. Between my husband’s incredible cooking and the informality of sitting around our ancient Formica kitchen table chatting, that’s a venue that just can’t be beaten!

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My faith, family, and friends. I rely heavily upon my faith.
My husband and children have been my biggest cheerleaders. My husband has been especially supportive from giving advice from his extensive restaurant experience to picking up my slack at home with caring for our children and chores.
My friends have continued to come out to farm market after farm market and to our new storefront. Not only that, but they’re not shy about telling the world about our little adventure.

Website: www.jollyacresfarms.com

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/jollyacresfarms/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/thejollygoodshopva/ and https://www.facebook.com/JollyAcresFarms/

Other: The Jolly Good Shop 120 S. Main Dr. Van Alstyne, TX 75495

Image Credits
Lizzy Trauer Photography

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutDFW is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.