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Sweet! 10 yummiest factory tours

Ethel M Chocolate Factory

Is there any calling more noble than that of a chocolate factory worker?

I don’t know why people think that only kids will enjoy candy factories!  My most recent candy factory visit was to the Ethel M. chocolate factory last fall, near Las Vegas.  I was on a meandering bus trip with my daughter and the factory was one of the stops.

We had started our day at a Chinese restaurant buffet for brunch.  That’s where the bus stopped and that’s where everyone ate.  It’s a long story.  I’ll tell it one time.  But not now.

Selection of Ethel M chocolates

Selection of Ethel M chocolates at the factory store

After a baffling breakfast of chow mein, fried rice and pot stickers, we headed out to Ethel M.  Located in a business park in Henderson, Nevada, the factory and factory store also has a big cactus garden out in front, which is pretty cool.

The tour is basically just a walkway with big windows looking in on the chocolate prep areas. Even though it was September at the time, we could see them preparing what looked like chocolate for Valentine’s Day.  The best part is of course the samples!

Ethel M Chocolate Factory cactus garden

The Ethel M Chocolate Factory cactus garden is fun if you like cactus (Cactuses? Cacti? Cactum?)

It was very hot during our visit and our guide cautioned us against buying chocolate at the factory store because it would melt on the trip. That was too bad, since the factory store had some intriguing items for sale.   I guess they wouldn’t be so intriguing after they melted into a brown puddle, however.

Ironically, during this same period of time I was dating someone who worked in a California chocolate factory.  Every time he came to visit he would bring different types of chocolate chips and chocolate chunks.  It was the perfect relationship until he announced that he wanted “more”.  “More” was not forthcoming from my end so I am back to buying chocolate in the store like regular folk.

Even though it is a known fact that I love love love chocolate, I have to admit that my real “problem” is actually jelly beans and candy corn. I just can’t stop eating them, no matter what.  So Easter and Halloween are my personal dark holes of sugar addiction despair.  Just so you know.

It’s not Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory, but kids will love visits to factories producing some of the country’s best sweets! Watch how chocolate is made, taffy is pulled and ice cream is churned at factories across the country, most of which offer free tours throughout the year. Here are a few of our favorites:

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One Response to “Sweet! 10 yummiest factory tours”


  1. […] maps and – best of all – a huge bowl of jelly beans. I have a documented “problem” when it comes to jelly beans and candy corn and I ate about 10,000 of them while checking […]

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