Although most chocolate treats during spring are associated with Easter and Passover, you don’t have to celebrate either holiday to appreciate the factory tour given by the South Bend Chocolate Company, 3300 W. Sample St., South Bend, Ind. The company offers a free tour and an Inside Scoop tour that take you behind the scenes to see exactly how the company makes its signature sweet treats.
Both tours give you an up-close look at how the company makes its chocolates, from mixing and cooling to boxing and packaging. The free tour ends with a look at SBCC’s molded chocolate products, including a look at a chocolate
T. rex tooth.
"One of the owners has a new passion for digging up dinosaur bones," explains Brandy Love, the tour guide and manager of the retail store at the factory. "The mold was made from a real tooth fossil."
The Inside Scoop tour continues with tour participants dipping their own chocolate spoon to take home (a favorite activity with kids), watching a short video about chocolate and then strolling through the company’s Chocolate Museum that’s full of antique chocolate boxes, tins, molds and other chocolate-related items. Both tours then end in the Chocolate Café, where you can buy chocolates or sit down with a scoop of ice cream, a cup of hot chocolate or a coffee drink.
The company encourages walk-ins for either tour, but larger groups and those wanting to go on tours toward the end of the school year (when school groups book quickly) will want to call to make a reservation. The Inside Scoop tour costs $4 for adults, $1 for children and both tours are recommended for ages 4 and up. For more information call (800) 301-4961 or visit www.sbchocolate.com.