What it is: So, when I heard that there was a chocolate factory in the Triangle, we knew we had to go check it out. After a morning of play and a pack lunch we headed to downtown Raleigh, right across the street from The Pit restaurant to check out Videri Chocolates.
When we drove up, we could park in the parking lot right next to the factory specifically for the patrons of that shopping center, The Depot. Someone asked us if we were really there to shop at The Depot because lots of people try to use that lot for the restaurant across the street. We walked in and were directed past the store in the front of the building to the factory in the back for the self-guided tour.
It was a VERY quick tour, but I think it was interesting for the kiddos to see how chocolate was actually made. There was a window where we could stop and watch someone dipping and decorating chocolates. Then, we followed five signs (the first one is outside the factory doors) to show us through the steps of the chocolate making process. We saw a chocolate bean roaster, what chocolate looks like at various stages of the process, and a huge mixer mixing up the chocolate. As I said, the tour wasn't long, but I thought it was fun stop.
After the tour we headed back out to the shop and we each were able to sample a delicious piece of one of their chocolate bars. Then we purchased one of their chocolate covered marshmallows for under $3 for each of the kiddos (and a Mexican chocolate for me, yum)! They also had a coffee shop in the same store where you could pick up some delicious coffee or hot chocolate for the kiddos.
We would have eaten our chocolate goodies on their outdoor porch space which would have given the kiddos more room to stretch their legs, but it was under construction when we stopped by. Hopefully it will be open the next time we stop by.
What we liked: It was a unique experience to show the kids how chocolate was made. Plus, they had delicious chocolate treats!
What we would change: The tour was very quick so you would have to combine this stop with another outing like a trip to one of the great downtown museums or The Pit restaurant. Also, it was a bit pricey (with chocolate bars priced at $8) but they did have chocolates that were more affordable than that.
Website and other important information:
Address: 327 W. Davie Street, "Sweet" 100, Raleigh
Hours: 11am-7pm Tuesday-Thursday, 11am-9pm Friday and Saturday
(the factory doorways)
(the beans-step by step)
(A piece of their delicious chocolate)