This post may contain affiliate links.
This post contains affiliate links
One of my favorite things about homeschooling is the freedom to take tons of field trips. When I was in school, we were lucky if we took one field trip each grade. My kids have been on at least 5 just this year!
The Seattle Chocolates company recently started giving factory tours and I knew we had to make the trip. We just finished reading Chocolate Fever so the field trip tied in perfectly with our language arts curriculum.
Seattle Chocolates Field Trip
I originally scheduled this field trip for two weeks prior to when we were actually able to go. First I had to reschedule due to unexpected snow. Then I had to reschedule because my plumber was coming to install my new hot water heater. I love chocolate, but I love hot showers more.
Booking the field trip was easy to do online. You will get a confirmation email that lets you easily reschedule your visit as long as it is not within 24 hours. The first time I needed to reschedule was only about 2 hours before our appointment. I called the number listed in the email and a very kind employee rescheduled the field trip. The customer service at Seattle Chocolates is amazing. The second time I had a few days notice so I just rescheduled online.
We showed up a few minutes early (I seriously hate being late anywhere) and checked out the chocolate shop before being ushered into the classroom.
The tour is divided into multiple segments.
The classroom is bright and clean with an industrial feel. There is a colorful world map on the classroom wall that shows the portion of the world that can grow cocoa beans. There is also a poster that explains why Seattle Chocolates is committed to using Rainforest Alliance certified chocolate. Rainforest Alliance Certified chocolate means that they support social and environmental responsibility. I am happy to support companies that have a conscience!
In the classroom we watched a few little videos about the history of Seattle Chocolates and the process for growing and harvesting chocolate. Then we were able to hold an actual cocoa pod and dried beans. I had no idea they were so big! I did not hear a single peep out of the kids during the presentation because they were so interested.
Next we moved on to the tour portion of the field trip. We donned our hairnets and stepped onto the mezzanine that allowed us to observe the factory without interrupting.
I wish I had pictures of the factory in action, but cameras and phones are not allowed in that portion of the building. Actually, you can not carry anything in your hands. Accidentally dropping something would cause Seattle Chocolates a major headache.
We were fortunate that the factory was in operation on the day of our tour. The factory tour was really interesting because we were able to see the assembly line in full swing. There was plenty of specialized machinery, but it was nice to see many employees working and checking for quality control.
Seattle Chocolates is dedicated to providing quality chocolate, so every truffle and truffle bar is inspected to make sure it meets their high standards. I saw a truffle bar pulled from the line because the wrapper had a bent corner. The chocolates with visual imperfections are used in the tasting room.
The tasting room was kind of amazing. It has the clean industrial style of the classroom, but with shelves of candy bar inclusions. There were six different varieties of chocolate set in front of us, with a cup of water to wash it down.
The tour guide walked us through each piece, describing which flavors we could expect. Before we left the tasting room we spent a few minutes filling out a survey and trying to think of any new flavor combinations they should try. That was really hard because there are already so many flavors!
Before we left, we did a little chocolate shopping. Paul wasn’t able to join us for the field trip so we brought him home a few truffle bars.
- Bring baby wipes to wash chocolatey faces.
- Wait to purchase treats until after the tour. You can turn your survey in for a discount.
- Bring a Ziploc bag to store your leftover tasting chocolate. If you forget (like I did), just put the chocolate in your empty water cup.
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