Susie Hitchcock-Hall has been blessed with many awards and honors, and has served on a multitude of local and state-wide boards, both professional and non-profit. She has served chair for the United Way Capital Campaign, the Midland Chamber of Commerce, and the Midland Manufactures’ Association. She is also on the state board of the Texas Association of Business and was formally inducted into the Texas Women’s Hall of Fame by the governor of Texas, Greg Abbott, and his wife, Cecilia. Her most recent accomplishment was publishing a cookbook, “Dancin’ in the Kitchen with Susie”. There are over 600 recipes for those who enjoy good, old-fashioned cooking and also for those who possess a more fastidious taste. You can purchase the cookbooks in-store or online and a portion of all cookbook sales will go to the Midland Humane Coalition, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization whose mission is to partner with the community of Midland to end euthanasia of animals and find Furr-Ever Homes for healthy, adoptable cats and dogs.
Susie Hitchcock-Hall’s first career, in the mid-70’s, involved one of her favorite hobbies… dancing. Susie loved to wear her beloved red cowboy boots as she taught country/western dance lessons for private groups, as well as churches and the YMCA. As Susie taught dance lessons by night, she pursued other interests by day. Cooking was top of this list as she loved to “fiddle around in the kitchen”, thus leading to her second career.
Susie partnered with the owner of a pecan grove just south of Midland on 40 acres and created the recipes to her famous, mouth-watering candies. This resulted in building a 1500 square foot factory, making the business truly a south 40. World-Famous Frozen Texas Pecan Toffee was her original creation, quickly followed by creamy caramel Kickers® Pralines, and Fudge Richey®. This candy was initially to be named Fudge Rickey after one of Susie’s friends, but as the information came across the fax, the k looked like an h. Susie said “God was in the fax machine”, and the name was determined to be Fudge Richey®. The most poplular of Susie's chocolates is Winners® Pecan Caramels (so named because one of her “tasters” deemed that recipe a “winner”). Other delicious handmade candies include Peanut Butter Fudge Richey®, Sea Salt Caramels, Coconut Texas Tumbleweeds, Peanut Butter Bites, Praline Pecan Popcorn and Texas Trash®. She designs all of her own candy boxes, and the shape and color of the Kickers® box is a nod to her red dancin’ boots that she loves so much! Today, Susie’s South Forty produces 21 varieties of fresh candy handmade without preservatives, with two gift shop locations in Midland.
Within the 30 years Susie's South Forty has been in business, it has grown from that small 1,500 square foot factory to a big, beautiful 15,000 square foot facility in Downtown Midland designed with visitors in mind. The uniqueness of Susie’s factory is having the ability to give customers free tours and candy samples. People love to tour the downtown factory and watch the cooks make the well-known candy and confections by hand through the window wall extending the length of the hallway. Susie’s South Forty is able to ship their candy and confections to all 50 states and internationally to 35 countries. They also offer local delivery options for those customers who live in Midland and Odessa.
Some say that Susie’s many accomplishments are the reason that she’s now in the Texas Women’s Hall of Fame, but she didn’t do it all for the honors. It’s a love of family, friends, and Midland that keeps her going. Her favorite quote is from her late husband, Mike Hall: “We’re successful because God has a sweet tooth”.