Ever wonder how a small, homely bean turns into smooth, tantalizing chocolates? Find out at the newly renovated Sanders-Morley Chocolate Factory tour. During this hour-long adventure, your kids (and you!) learn how chocolate is made – bean to bar – through videos, photos and more.
“(The tour) also provides the history of Sanders and Morley Chocolate Factory and how we are still incorporating old traditions with new innovative products,” says Shawna I. Couto, director of tour operations. “Tour goers will then enjoy samples of our chocolate while they stroll down the observation walkway to see the chocolates being made right in front of them.”
The combined candy company has deep roots here in Michigan. In 1875, Fred Sanders Schmidt began selling chocolates at his first shop in Detroit. From there, Sanders began selling other treats like ice cream and baked goods. In 2002, Morley Candy Makers, Inc., which dates back to 1919, acquired Sanders, making one large candy mecca that’s still serving up sweets nationwide. The tour, however, is only here at the Clinton Township location.
Indiana’s Best Confections
Kids often ask if there’s a chocolate river or Oompa Loompas lurking around during tours at DeBrand Fine Chocolates in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Melissa Fuller, educational director and a tour guide here for over 13 years, doesn’t mind a bit. Her favorite parts of the tours, which last around 45 minutes? “I’ve met people from all over the country and around the world,” she says. “Secondly, I love giving out the samples and seeing their reactions – especially to children. I feel like I’m giving out happiness in the form of chocolate.” Much of the candy making is still done by hand, to boot. Tours are $5/person.
Fourteen days. That’s how long it can take to infuse a Jelly Belly bean with its intense flavor – like Juicy Pear, Red Apple and Tutti-Frutti. Learn all the secrets during a free self-guided headquarters tour in Fairfield, California, freshly upgraded last year. Along the quarter-mile stroll, you can peer down at the candy making below, play “Belly Flop IQ” (ID the beans that aren’t the right shape) and test out the smell stations.