The Fudgery, the singing fudge shop that opened in 1985 in Harborplace and helped launch the careers of Baltimore R&B bands, will ring its bell one last time at the close of business on Sunday. (Catherine Rentz / Baltimore Sun video)

The Fudgery, where workers sing for customers while stirring and turning fudge, will close its Harborplace store Sunday.

The fudge-making shop in downtown Baltimore is believed to be the longest-tenured merchant in the Light Street Pavilion, where it opened in 1985, five years after the festival marketplace opened in the Inner Harbor.

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The Fudgery opened its first store in 1980 in North Carolina’s Outer Banks and has grown to 27 locations in 12 states.

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“It has been a particularly painful decision because of its contributions to our company over the past thirty-three years,” AC Marshall, The Fudgery’s founder and CEO, said of the Baltimore shop in an announcement Wednesday. “It was the visibility afforded The Fudgery here that thrust our company into other national markets.

“Unfortunately, time changes things, and there is not enough of our customer base to support a profitable operation,” Marshall said.

The shop, where workers make fudge in copper kettles and on marble slabs, will shut down at the close of business Sunday.

The Inner Harbor location spurred the singing careers of artists such as Baltimore group Dru Hill and SisQo, the company said. The company runs a second Maryland store in Tanger Outlets at National Harbor.

Marshall credited “enthusiastic” employees for giving the shop energy and personality and is inviting former workers to return for the final day at the Inner Harbor.

Harborplace is in the midst of a makeover after it was acquired by New York-based Ashkenazy Acquisition Corp. for $100 million in 2012. A number of restaurants and stores have closed recently including Five Guys burger restaurant and Noodles & Co.

But new retailers and restaurants are coming, including Banana Republic, Build-A-Bear and Mason’s Famous Lobster Rolls.

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