It’s one of San Diego’s best kept secrets and we’ve got the scoop! You can take a delicious Joy Factory Tour to learn all about Chuao Chocolatier right here in Carlsbad––and yes, lots of chocolate samples are included! Appropriately pronounced (chew-wow) and named after a legendary cacao growing region in Venezuela), Chuao Chocolates are truly wow-worthy. Just wait until you taste all their amazing flavors! Read on for the sweet deets about this San Diego chocolate factory tour you don’t want to miss.
Joy Factory Tours
Joy Factory Tours are offered on Thursdays and Fridays and last approximately one hour. The guided tour is led by a fun and enthusiastic member of the Chuao Chocolatier team. You’ll learn about the hard work, passion and of course, joy that goes into every bite of Chuao chocolate creations. Tours cost $15/person and you can sign up for one online here.
Learn the Inspiring Story Behind Chuao Chocolates
Your first stop on the tour is part tasting/part presentation. You’ll see a slideshow and learn about Chuao Chocolatier’s co-founder and creative chocolatier Chef Michael Antonorsi’s passion and inspiration behind making chocolate to spread joy. You’ll gain an understanding for why Chef Michael’s flavors are so unique, witty and bold––and why he views making chocolate as a form of art and a way to create happiness and gratitude.
You’ll also learn fun tidbits like the fact that a group of middle schoolers developed a mint brownie candy bar as part of a classroom project that so inspired Chuao Chocolatier co-founder Michael Antonorsi that he made it into an actual chocolate bar called Mintfully Brownie!
photo: Jennifer N. via Yelp
Taste the Best Chocolates You’ve Ever Had
Before you head to the factory you’ll get to sample several flavors of Chuao Chocolate bars and truffles. Some favorites include Potato Chip, which is the perfect blend of sweet and salty with crisp kettle cooked chips and milk chocolate, Sprinkle Dreams, which boasts waffle cone, hazelnuts, and rainbow sprinkles in milk chocolate, and Firecracker which tantalizes your tastebuds with a dash of chipotle and crackling popping candy in dark chocolate. The decadent truffles were also part of the sampling treats with luscious flavors like passion fruit and dulce de leche.
On to the Factory Where the Magic Happens
Next you’ll put on the provided hair nets and then head into the factory to see how these magical chocolates are made. Kids may be asking about Wonka’s chocolate river, so be sure to point out the spinning chocolate wheel that calls this factory home. This engaging tour will teach about chocolate tempering and other chocolate handling processes. You’ll see cooling tables, large chocolate holding tanks, assembly lines and the chocolate making staff hard at work, while also learning about the ingredients being used from the bacon that goes in the Baconluxious bars to the fluffy vegan marshmallows in the Oh My Smores bars.
Fun facts: Chuao Chocolatier makes the LEGO bricks chocolate you’ll find at neighboring LEGOLAND California. They also donate chocolate to local San Diego food banks.
Shop the Boutique & Plan Your Next Visit
Once you’ve finished your tour, you’ll want to grab some goodies to go. Good thing there’s a delightful boutique where you can buy bars, truffles, bon bons, Banana Jerky, joy-filled caramels and every creative product currently be produced by Chuao Chocolatier! You’ll also find vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free and soy free chocolates. Be sure to check out their Moon Bark chocolate.
Good to know: Joy Factory tours are for kids age 10 and older. Be aware that some of the machinery in the factory tour makes loud noises.
Mark your calendar! Chuao Chocolatier hosts several events geared for younger children too. Stay tuned to their website for details on their upcoming Easter event which will feature snacks, crafts and mini tours.
Chocoholics will also want to note that Chuao Chocolatier offers truffle rolling and bar-luxious experiences wherein you can make your own chocolates!
Chuao Chocolatier Factory & Boutique
2350 Camino Vida Roble, Ste. 101
Carlsbad, CA 92011