I recently found out about this neat chocolate factory tour, and wanted to take the kids. Since the weather has been pretty cold lately, I felt like we needed to get out of the house for a few hours, so we hopped in the car and headed towards Springfield, MO. I was pretty bummed to find out once I got there the GoPro was dead… so I managed to get a few iPhone pics instead.
The Askinosie Chocolate Tour was pretty awesome. It’s located in downtown Springfield, a place they are trying to help revitalize. The founder, Steve Askinosie, sold his first candy bar in 2007. Since then he’s been creating chocolate bars and they are sold online and throughout 700 stores.
One thing I highly enjoyed and connected with was how the company cares about its farmers, and its community. They are a small company of about 15 employees, yet they give so much back. They have a great working relationship with a local homeless and women’s shelter. The women from the shelter actually tear down the burlap bags that the beans are shipped in to reuse for packaging. They are all about reusing, reducing, and helping others. An awesome message that was an added bonus because I didn’t know any of this until we took the tour!
Local Springfield community high schoolers are able to be a part of Chocolate University, the company chooses 14 students each year to travel with Steve Askinosie to one of the farms and learn all about being an entrepreneur, local culture, and the business of chocolate. Talk about an amazing experience!
The kids really had a fun time; they have been talking about this morning to their cousins.. how they gets beans from farmers to make chocolate.
All three chose their favorite candy bar afterwards to enjoy later. Both Turner and Caden chose White Chocolate and Lilly chose a special bar for the holidays: Pumpkin Spice White Chocolate, which she says tastes exactly like pumpkin pie. The White Chocolate was by far the best, I think… but I’m not a dark chocolate fan.
If you are ever in the area, I highly recommend the tour, just a bit of warning…. stay away from the cocoa nibs!