I’m a good researcher but I didn’t realize that when I found a local chocolate factory tour for a work outing, that I had stumbled upon a world class bean to bar chocolate company right here in my own backyard. Not only is their award winning chocolate beautiful to look at but their packaging is as well — a double bonus for a team of designers.
If you don’t know anything about the chocolate making process the educational tour ($7/person) is interesting. And it comes complete with small tastings of cocoa nibs, warm chocolate mini-shots and a goodie bag of chocolate tasting squares to sample their various finished chocolate bar offerings.
The behind the scenes tour ($17/person) adds on a quick loop through the factory floor (not yet so active as they are still short on enough demand to keep them producing regularly) and 3 truffles of your choice from the chocolate case. Honestly, you are going to want to buy some chocolates anyway, so put your money towards that vs. paying more for the expensive tour.
Here are the spoils:Nice, huh? It’s good stuff!! And if you feel like splurging even more, they have a $20 2.8 oz chocolate bar made from a private crop of cocoa beans that no other manufacturer had access to. Just 500 bars were made, each signed & numbered with 2 different awards to their credit.
Opened by a team of 3 earlier this year, in addition to the factory location in Irvine they have also opened 2 coffee & chocolate shops also in Orange County, CA with more to come I’m sure. The team is very knowledgeable and super friendly. I even stepped behind the counter to show them some tips on tying ribbons more efficiently for their gift boxes — always happy to help I am.
Check them out. Take a tour, visit a shop or order online. It will be nice to see this little business make it big.
Choxco — Irvine Chocolate Factory
9461 Irvine Center Drive
Irvine, CA 92618
Hours: Tues to Sat 10 am – 6 pm
image one, courtesy Choxco.com