No matter your age, chocolate is one of those treats that you can’t (and don’t want to!) grow out of. If you’ve seen or read Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, I’m sure your mouth watered non-stop, thinking about all the chocolate that you can find in a chocolate factory. And while not all chocolate factories are as unusual and magical as Willy Wonka’s, visiting a chocolate factory is a dream come true for many of us chocolate-addicts. Here are some real life chocolate factories that you can actually visit.
Cadbury World, Birmingham, UK
I’m not trying to advertise for Cadbury, but their chocolate is delicious. And they also know how to entertain their potential customers. Their chocolate factory in Birmingham was turned into combination between an amusement park and a real factory, for kids and adults alike. Some parts of the factory are purely for entertainment, for example the Aztec Jungle or the Purple Planet (where you can chase Cadbury creme eggs and grow your own cocoa beans), and some educational, where you can learn about how chocolate is made.
Hershey’s Chocolate World, Hershey, Pennsylvania, US
Hershey’s is one of the most important chocolate manufacturers in the US, and they have been making chocolate for over a century. The tour of the Hershey factory is free, and although Hershey’s Chocolate World is not a real factory per se, it shows a pretty accurate image of how cocoa beans are processed into delicious chocolate. Of course, at the end of the tour there is a free chocolate sampling, and even more, you can create your custom chocolate bar, using ingredients of your choice (however, this will cost you about $15). There are other chocolate-related activities as well, however, you’ll have to pay or them: taste all kinds of Hershey’s chocolate, become a chocolate factory worker for a day or use the chocolate works machine.
Camille Bloch Chocolate Factory, Courtelary, Switzerland
The Camille Bloch chocolatiers have been creating chocolate for the past 75 years, and they are famous for their creativity and their high-quality chocolate. The tour of the Bloch factory in Courtelay is more serious than the chocolate worlds which target mainly kids. The Bloch facotiry is fully functional and you will actually get an inside look of how a chocolate factory really works. Tours are very informative and they are guided by specialists, and as expected, they end with a chocolate tasting. Tours are given only to groups, and must be booked in advance.
Le Chocolatier Manon, Brussels, Belgium
Belgium is hugely famous for its chocolate, and Le Chocolatier Manon is one of those chocolate manufacturers who produces hand-made chocolate. Groups are given a tour of the factory and will see handicraft demonstrations, with the chance to learn a trick or two about how to make delicious chocolate. Each visitor is offered an assorted batch of Manon chocolates, so keep that in mind if the entrance fee of 12€ seems a bit steep to you.