Black-owned business leaves South Side over the violence

FUDGE FARM OWNERS WALT AND MOLLY RAINEY

Fudge Farm still has location in the Waterfront

 

(Editor’s Note: This article has been modified to reflect that Fudge Farm opened in 2016 on the South Side.)

by Rob Taylor Jr. – Courier Staff Writer

A Black-owned business is fed up with the gun violence and overall foolishness that’s been occurring on Pittsburgh’s South Side lately.

“Fudge Farm,” which opened its South Side location on E. Carson Street in 2016, has officially closed that location as of Sunday, June 5, after one of its employees was violently attacked, and a handgun was found near the side door of the location, all in the past week and a half.

The New Pittsburgh Courier featured Fudge Farm, owned by Walt and Molly Rainey, in an article from reporter Briana White in 2019. White reported on Fudge Farm’s menu favorites, which include specialty milkshakes and fudge- and chocolate-covered strawberries. Fudge Farm already had a location in the Waterfront in Homestead, and that location remains open.

The Courier reported that Walt Rainey, who is Black, is a Hill District native who graduated from Schenley High School in 1993.

Fudge Farm’s South Side location opened to much fanfare—after all, it was a Black-owned business, one of just a few on the South Side’s Carson Street corridor. Plus, it was located in the heart of all the action, near 15th Street, where people constantly congregate for parties and get-togethers. Fudge Farm was attracting business from all demographics.

But five years after its ascent to the South Side, Fudge Farm is saying sayonara. The weekend of June 3-5 saw shootings on back-to-back nights—an employee of nearby Cambod-Ican Kitchen was hit by random gunfire late Friday/early Saturday, June 4, following a night of parties. The next night, two men were critically injured by gunfire that erupted near Fudge Farm.

“Due to the uncontrollable shootings and violence as well as other circumstances on E. Carson St., today (June 5) will be Fudge Farm’s last day there,” wrote Fudge Farm on its Facebook page. “We can no longer ask teenage children, or no one for that matter to work for us in this environment. We would like to thank our customers for years of support. Please feel free to visit our Waterfront location or stop by our food truck when possible. Feel free to DM (direct message) us any questions or concerns. Thank you.”

Efforts to reach Walt Rainey or Molly Rainey by the Courier for comment were unsuccessful.

A later Facebook post by Fudge Farm read in part: “We can no longer ask people to jeopardize their safety! Anyone that personally knows us, knows that our employees are family. We wouldn’t allow our daughters to work in this environment as we wouldn’t want your son or daughter to do so either.”

With Fudge Farm now gone from the South Side, it leaves an already slim number of Black-owned business on E. Carson Street that much slimmer.

 

 

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