News & Events

Ryba's Fudge Celebrates 57 Years at Chicago Auto Show

The Chicago Auto Show today opened to the public at McCormick Place and among the most distinctive company names show visitors will see for the next 10 days is Ryba's (rye-ba) Fudge, now in its 57th year at the nation's largest auto show.

"This marks the 57th year auto show visitors will be able to purchase a piece of Mackinac Island history with a box of Ryba's hand-crafted fudge," said Todd Callewaert, grandson of the company's founder, Harry Ryba. "Our family is pleased to be a part of this great Chicago tradition and we're looking forward to welcoming visitors from around the city and the region over the coming 10 days."

Ryba's, which has a year-round presence in Chicago with retail stores in McCormick Place and at Navy Pier, will be making Mackinac Island fudge daily during the auto show at its booth near the Ford and Chrysler exhibits.  Ryba's will have a total of 12 stands throughout the north and south buildings, five offering fudge and seven offering ice cream.

In addition to selling fudge at retail stores in Chicago, on Mackinac Island and at special events like the auto show, Ryba's can be ordered online at: www.ryba.com.

Ryba (Rye-ba) was born in Detroit at the beginning of the 20th century and began selling caramel corn in the 1930s out of a rented storefront on the city's far eastside. Ryba went on to be known as the "Fudge King" of historic Mackinac Island, where he made hand-crafted fudge on marble slabs and fanned the sweet aroma onto the streets to capture tourists' attention.

Ryba passed away in 1996 but left behind a major legacy in the generations that have followed in his footsteps.  The family has become a major force in the competitive fudge trade and has helped put Mackinac Island on the map.

Victor Callewaert, Ryba's son-in-law, has managed Ryba's Fudge Shops since 1988. While he has turned over the day-to-day operations to his daughter, Mary Callewaert, and his son, Todd, he is proud to participate in the Chicago Auto Show for a 57th year.

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