Whetstones Chocolate Factory Tour

This post is #12 of 31 fun things to do in St. Augustine. Click there for more-> Florida Staycation Ideas!

Hubby took a day off work last week and we let the kids pick anything they wanted to do in St. Augustine.  Guess who picked the Whetstone Chocolate Factory Tour?! {the girls}

We paid for the tour when we first entered and then sat in the “I wonder what’s through those doors” room surrounded by photos of chocolate in its various stages.

When our group was finally ready for the tour, I was a little disappointed to see this tour guide instead of an Ooompa Loompa.  This was not Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory.  Boo.

First we heard the history of the Whetstone family’s entrance into the chocolate industry and learned of their presence in St. Augustine over several decades.  Whetstones makes all their chocolates here in St. Augustine and has also produced chocolates for national brands such as Nestle.  We watched a video about cacao farms and donned hair nets before being ushered into the factory next door- where my opinion of the tour improved drastically.  Solely because we were fed chocolate.

We were first introduced to Cacao Nibs.  {Well, the *other* tourists were introduced- I have a container in my pantry. I’m not joking when I call myself a foodie.}

Our guide pointed out the ingredients in chocolate- this part of the tour was educational and interesting!

Now for the tasting… We started with milk chocolate.  I believe it was called the Aviles, after the oldest street in St. Augustine.  Here it is before:

And after! I actually passed the rest on to my kids- I’m not a milk chocolate fan.  They, in turn, don’t care for dark chocolate so I was paid back amply for my kindness later in the tour!

Georgia, who requested the Chocolate Tour, liked all the chocolates until we made it past 75% cocoa.  That’s my girl!

We were given tasting cards- very handy if you wanted to buy some goodies in the gift shop afterwards!  After sampling 5 or 6 chocolates, they could start to blur together.

At one point, our guide passed out white chocolate samples… which is a joke because white chocolate doesn’t have any cocoa in it.  Blech.

Check out Lauren’s face!!  Again… that’s my girl.  White chocolate is for wusses.

The “factory tour” portion wasn’t too exciting the day we went.  Nothing was in production, so we walked past silent machines imagining the confections they produce.

Our guide did turn on a machine & demonstrate how it wraps Key Lime Chocolates- and let everyone grab one off the conveyor belt.

After the tour, we headed through the gift shop {surprise!} where I ordered a frozen hot chocolate.  Think Starbucks Frappucino without the coffee.  It was cold & refreshing while we waited for our tour train to return.

But is it worth the price of admission?

The kids enjoyed the Whetstones Tour because they loved the hairnets {truth!} and they got to eat chocolate.  Even as a chocolate lover {and dare I say connoisseur?} I learned something new.  We tasted lots of chocolate.  The whole “factory tour” lost major points with me because it was a silent factory.

Would I go again?  No, but I’ve done several chocolate tours that were very intimate & hands-on, it’s hard to beat that.  When I asked Hubby {not a choc tour veteran}, he said he would.  To each his own.  But would he splurge and take the whole family?  No.  I will say that I didn’t hear any disgruntled complaints from the other 20 tourists in our tour.

If you *really* want to experience amazing chocolate in St. Augustine, head over to Claude’s Chocolates, pick out an amazing hand-crafted truffle and call it a day.  Or drive up to Claude’s factory and see if he has time for a quick, personal tour {hope he doesn’t shoot me for saying that to everyone here!}.  But if you’re looking for a tasty stop on the trolley tour to rest after a hot day of outside tours, Whetstone’s will satisfy your cravings.

Whetstone’s Chocolate Factory Tour
139 King Street
(904) 217-0275 – reservations suggested!!!

$8 adults, $5 children 5-17

p.s. The website says each adult ticket includes $2 off your store purchase. We were not offered this discount! Boo!

Comments

  1. says

    I think it’s just interesting to see how things are made. Granted I haven’t been on any other chocolate tours so this might be a good start as we’re going to Hershey next summer 🙂

  2. Kelly says

    You are filling Fred Rogers comfy shoes admirably.

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