One of the things we love to do is visit factories, to take tours. They are always interesting, and usually, you get good deals, if not free stuff. Last year we did the Celestial Tea Tour in Boulder, Colorado. We got a lot of inexpensive tea, and it was educational.
In 2008, we may (or may not have) skipped out on part of the ACBC national counseling conference to take the Budweiser tour in St. Louis. (It was way more interesting.) This year we did the Henry Ford museum, and while on our way to Chicago, we decided to visit the world-famous Mindo Chocolate Factory.
Okay, it’s not quite as world-shaking as it sounds. The factory is a house deep in the woods of Michigan. The GPS had a hard time directing us, and we went down more than one gravel road. And the service on our phones did disappear. I kept hearing the theme song to Deliverance (dueling banjos) in my head.
The reviews online said not to give up; you will find it. They were correct, and after awhile we drove down a long driveway to a home surrounded by woods. Being the leader that I am; I protected our children as Lucia went to the door to meet a lady, who said, “It’s a little weird, but it’s okay.” I think she has seen “that look” before from strangers who were not sure what was going to happen after they knocked on her door.
She was about twenty or so and inviting. We slowly entered her home as she explained that it was a chocolate (house) factory. One converted room was shipping and receiving. Another room was where they made the magic chocolate. Then there was the tasting room, which appeared to be a converted Florida room.
The lady who owns the “factory” shuttles between Michigan and Ecuador, which is where they get their amazing beans. She was in South America at the time. Our guide was wonderful, kind, generous, and willing to answer all our questions. The “cook” in the back room was also gracious.
And the chocolate was fabulous. We bought a few bars to take on the road with us. The thing I appreciated the most was the entrepreneurial spirit of these folks. They had an idea and went about implementing it. I love that spirit. They do sell to a few small-sized stores, as well an online presence.
If you’re ever deep in the woods of Michigan, drop by their house (factory) and take the tour. It’s about an hour, depending on your questions. You’ll like these folks and their chocolate, and it will be a good memory for all.