I’ve seen the sign, “Mrs. Cavanaugh’s Chocolate Factory Tour” every time I drove past the North Salt Lake building on my way to the airport or Tooele. So when I was asked to do a story on Five Day Trips for Wasatch View magazine, I decided to check out it out.
At $1 per person, it’s cheap fun, if you can resist buying boxes of luscious candy while you’re there.
Having done my Wasatch View article, I thought it would be a fun place to take my grandgirls, Jayden and Jackie,. There were about 12-15 people during our tour, which lasted about 30-45 minutes.
Jayden has recently seen “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,” and said she hoped it wasn’t the same kind of place. “My mom said it was kind of dark, and I wondered what that meant,” she said. (Note to Jayden: I don’t think she was talking about the chocolate, dark or milk, in this case.)
Aimee Tracy, a staff member who gives some of the tours, said that summertime is the big tour season. There are mom groups, school groups, assisted living groups, and tour buses. But you don’t have to be in a group — you can just call like I did and arrange for a time.
Upstairs, there’s a film on how chocolate is made from cacao, and cocoa beans.
There’s another little film on the history of Marie Cavanaugh, who started her candy business in 1964. My only complaint: I wish the sound was turned up a little on the Mrs. Cavanaugh film so that we could hear it better.
Through a glassed-in window, you can view the conveyor belt that takes candies through the enrobing machine, covering them in a waterfall of chocolate. There are people stacking candies in boxes and all the other factory-type jobs. Everything is observed behind the glass; you aren’t able to walk around in the actual factory where employees are working, probably due to sanitation and safety policies.
The tour guide gives everyone a taste of the bitter cocoa nibs used to make chocolate, and then a sample of the finished chocolate. She helps kids figure out how to tell what all the squiggly markings mean on the top of the chocolates — is it a cherry cordial, a caramel, or one of Mrs. Cavanaugh’s signature Mindy Mint truffles?
In the “train room” there’s a wall map of the world, and those who are from out of state, or out of the country, can place a pin on their hometown. People have visited from as faraway as Japan, Argentina, Russia, Madagascar and Mongolia.
The “train room” displays Marie Cavanaugh’s Christmas village. It’s a “Where’s Waldo?” type game where children must spot things like lollipops, a box of chocolates, and bows hiding somewhere in the village, in order to win a treat.
Back downstairs, everyone gets a sample taste of their choice of ice cream.
And then, of course, your taste buds are awakened with all these little samples, and you end up buying ice cream, candy or both before you leave!
Birthday parties: The factory also offers “Double Dipped Delight” birthday parties, where children get to dip the own chocolates on granite-topped tables. Cost is $8 per child. You can also order an ice cream cakes for the party. Moms, if you’re looking for a different birthday party, here’s a great idea.
The tour lasts 30-45 minutes, and is $1 per person.
Advance reservations are required for the tour, at 801-677-8888.
Getting there: take I-15 south, and then take I-215 heading west toward the Salt Lake Airport. Take the Redwood Road exit, and turn left. You’ll pass the Flying J and make a right turn onto North Point Circle.