The Whetstone Chocolate Factory in St Augustine - Orlando / Florida Guide
Florida Guide > Places to Visit
Are you, like me, a chocoholic?
If so, read on!
Did you know that you can take a tour of a chocolate factory in St Augustine?
Shh! Don’t tell anyone else – let’s keep it between ourselves. . . . .
Why not indulge yourself with a tour of the Whetstone chocolate factory?
Book a chocolate tasting tour at the Whetstone Chocolate Factory and you will be introduced to the history of chocolate making, as well as being able to taste the different flavours of dark chocolate, milk and white chocolate, as well as truffles and more. Taking 50 minutes, these tours are available three times a day between Tuesday and Friday, and four times on Saturdays. My mouth is watering already!
The owners, Henry and Esther Whetstone were born in Florida, and it was after his return from the US Air Force that he became a teacher. Both he and his wife were determined to own their own business, and they felt there was a need for superior quality ice cream. So they opened their first small ice cream parlour in 1966, using their small kitchen to prepare the ice cream. Their home made fudge recipe became very popular, and so they started to learn as much as they could about chocolate. Henry developed hand carved moulds for solid dolphins and alligators, and together with their developing fudge trade they started making hand-dipped chocolates such as toffee, almond, pecan, cherry and caramel.
So it was that the business grew and grew, and they soon opened their first chocolate producing factory in St Augustine in the 1970s. Their daughter, Virginia, joined the family business when she graduated from University, and her great love was developing different formulae. She visited cocoa plantations all over the world to ensure that she obtained the very best that was available.
A new 10, 000 sq ft factory was built on Highway 312. As business boomed the factory became a major attraction for tourists and local residents.
Now, if a chocolate tasting tour is not enough for you then you can take the Chocolate Indulgence Tour, lasting an hour to an hour and a half. Here you can learn about the history of cocoa, and the art of making chocolates. You can even make your own chocolate bar, and watch chocolate drinks and gourmet chocolate desserts being made by their chefs.
Their chocolates are absolutely beautiful, and their chocolate sea shells are stunning – with several varieties to choose from such as Key Lime, Mint Crunch, Toffee, and Valencia Orange shells. You can even make up your own box of chocolates.
But I am afraid this is not the place to visit if you are on a diet!
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