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Since many years the laws about hygienic are very strict. This concerns also chocolate factories. Today chocolate is produced in closed systems and it is no more visible for the visitors of a show installation. Every chocolate factory uses beans from different countries and even continents. The provenience of the chocolate beans and their roasting can make a big difference in the taste of the final product.
To know what other travelers think about the different chocolate factories there are reviews on TripAdvisor which can be found by the search function on top of every forum.
There is a difference between a chocolate factory and a chocolatier.
While the chocolate factory produces raw chocolate a chocolatier produces products out of chocolate. The bigger factories make both, raw chocolate and confected chocolate like chocolate candies which can be bought at shops. There are many chocolatiers/patissiers around the country which make their own chocolate products.
There are only a few chocolate factories which can be visited by the public. Here some information about them.
Swiss Chocolate Factories which can be visited
Maison Cailler, Broc Fabrique
The Maison Cailler offers the largest and maybe completest exhibition about chocolate making. There are movies and guided tours which are very interesting. All the processes from the cocoa bean to the chocolate product is shown at Maison Cailler. By the way, Cailler is the only chocolate factory which uses fresh milk instead of milk powder for the production.
It is worth to visit this place for tourists who are based within two travelling hours from Broc which is not far from Gruyères. A visit of this factory exhibition with great tasting and a great shop can be combined with a visit of the cheese factory at Gruyères and the historic town of Gruyères and its castle.
Alprose Chocolate Factory, Caslano Ticino
It is possible to see how chocolate is packed. Also there is a lot of information about chocolate making. This place includes a little museum about old chocolate makes. Of course it is possible to taste chocolate and there is a shop.
This factory is worth a visit if one is based somewhere at the Ticino. There are boats from Lugano and there is a train to Caslano.
Schoggi Land, Flawil
The Schoggi Land Flawil will close its doors October 1915. It will be replaced by
Maestrani Chocolarium, Flawil
The Maestrani chocolarium at Flawil will open its doors in April 2017. It will replace the Schoggi Land.
Visitor Center (Besucher Zentrum) Chocolat Frey, Buchs AG
Chocolat Frey is the producer of chocolate sold by Migros. The visitor center opened in 2014. On large screens it is possible to get information (presented by Frey employees) about chocolate beans and the production of chocolate. There is also some space where children can play and you can make your own chocolate photograph and order chocolate with your photograph printed on the packing.
Chocolate can be tasted (as much as you can eat). There is a café and a shop before the exit.
Chocolat Frey Visitor Center is close to Aarau.
Läderach Schoggi Erlebnis (Chocolate Experience), Bilten
Läderach is a chocolatier with shops all over Switzerland. They are mentioned here because they produce their own fair trade chocolate at Ennenda (there is an additional new factory under construction there). They produce three kinds of chocolate, a black one, milk chocolate and white chocolate which they use for the production of their hand made products. At the entrance the visitors get a little spoon (keep it at the end or put it back in a box) which is used to taste the fresh chocolate offered in the show. The processes and the policies of the company are shown in videos and in a little exhibition right side of the stairs when visitors come up to the show platform. On the other side it is possible to see the installations used to make their products.
It is recommended to visit the shop and to purchase some of the products offered there. They are not cheap but excellent.
The Swiss Chocolate Adventure, Lucerne (Transport Museum)
A vehicle which looks like a chocolate candy brings the visitors through the exhibition where they get all the information needed and the smells of chocolate. This is a unique manner to give travelers an overview about chocolate making. At the end every visitor gets a Lindor ball.
People who are interested in information about Swiss Chocolate and who are based at the Lucerne area can visit this Chocolate Adventure. The visit can easily be combined with a visit of the Transport Museum, the 3D cinema or the planetarium. The entrance fee is not included in the entrance fee for the museum.