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Scharffen Berger Chocolate Factory Tour

chocolatefactory

Mike and I headed off to Berkeley to take the Scharffen Berger Chocolate factory tour. Scharffen Berger is a boutique chocolatier specializing in dark chocolate. Don’t expect a wild Willy Wonka adventure but a low key highly informative romp through the chocolate making process from bean to bar. This isn’t something for the small kiddies as 90% is spent sitting listening to a verbal presentation while looking at old laminated pieces of paper (super low-tech but interesting). The last 10% is allocated for the tour of the facility. Unfortunately we went on a day in which no chocolate was being made so none of the equipment was in use but still cool to see.

mike

NO HAIR IN THE CHOCOLATE! Mike with his hairnets

Throughout the FREE, 1-hour tour we got to sample 5 different chocolates! My favorite was the milk chocolate something Scharffen Berger just began to produce due to public demand. Even though we didn’t see a river of chocolate or any umpa lumpas we still had a great time.

UPDATE:  Sad news…I just saw online that the live tours have been discontinued and it was announced that Hersey’s is closing the factory sometime this year. We must of been one of the last groups through. Scharffen Berger was bought by Hersey’s in 2005. They say they plan to move operations out of California to save money. You can still take the virtual tour.

Couple of  snap shots (click to enlarge):

roaster winnower melangeur test-kitchen molding-machine chocwrappers

1. Bean roaster 2. Bean sheller 3. Chocolate mixer 4. The Test Kitchen (this made me laugh, I expected more) 5. Molding machine 6. Packaging

Tasty Tip: There is a retail shop and cafe on site and the breakfast & desserts looked good.

Website: http://www.scharffenberger.com/

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5 Responses

  1. My family and I visited the factory and took the tour a couple of years ago. It was the best chocolate factory tour we have been on. I am sad and angered that Hershey’s has discontinued the tour and is closing the factory. Leave it to the heartless corporate behemoth who trivialized their own factory “tour” years ago…

  2. Yes, Mikester…very sad to see the factory go…

  3. Ugh, this is disaster! I’ve always wanted to go since I found out about this few years back. I’m planning to go to SF this weekend, and was checking their website, and couldn’t find anything about the tour. So sad..

  4. Rahmi, sorry you missed out, like bayareafoodie said, they closed the tours. Sucky, it was educational, fun, and yummy.

  5. I know where they moved Scharffen Berger although at this time there is no tours to go on, but I work for Hershey in Robinson Illinois and we make Scharffen Berger ! They go from milk chocolate which is awesome to 99% cocoa which instantly dries your mouth out ! I love working at Hershey and I love Scharffen Berger ! who would have thought it went from California to a small place like Robinson Illinois ?

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