Of the many smells one would expect to experience in Lancaster County—wildflowers, hay, fresh cut grass, possibly fertilizer—there is one that is generally not on that list: the tempting aroma of chocolate. However, Lancaster County does have a little of everything, including that slightly bitter yet tantalizing scent.
Wilbur Chocolate, established in the mid-1880’s, is located in historic downtown Lititz, Pennsylvania, a town famous for its rich history and its chocolate. Many days out of the year the sweet scent of chocolate, from the factory still housed in the same building as the shop and museum, drifts around town on the breeze, a welcome change from the smells of the farmland! The store and museum are open Monday through Saturday, with special holiday hours, and, though visitors can not tour the actual plant, there are many activities and things to see--and all of it is free.
The store offers most of Wilbur’s products, many of them made on site, and a free sample of their chocolate Wilbur Buds—chocolate drops similar in shape to the more widely-known Hershey’s Kisses.
The museum is sure to entertain, with a large display of a vintage candy kitchen, cases of candy molds, boxes and other memorabilia. In the back room the museum displays a video presentation on how chocolate is made and glass case, which completely covers one wall, filled with 150 porcelain chocolate pots from all over the world, including Europe and Asia. Also, visitors may watch as workers dip, mold and swirl chocolate in a small candy kitchen behind a Plexiglas window.
As if the Wilbur Chocolate museum and store are not enough, Lititz hosts an entire event dedicated to chocolate. In 2012, the Chocolate Walk will take place on October 6th. This “chocolate for charity” event, held rain or shine on October 6th from 10am-4pm, is planned by the Kiwanis of the Lititz area to raise money for children in need. Chocolates made by the region’s most talented chefs and candy makers will be available. Tickets are on sale as of July 1st and the event has sold out for the last few years. Chocoholics, chocolate fanatics and fans, if you plan to attend the Lititz Chocolate Walk, purchase your tickets early!
Another sweet stop in Lititz is the Café Chocolate. They serve breakfast, lunch and dinner, as well as chocolates by the pound and chocolate dipped foods. Nearly every item on their menu will contain chocolate—like their chocolate chili.
For information about more sticky, sweet chocolate stops, like Asher’s Candy and the Weaver Nut Company of Ephrata, visit the About Lancaster web site, or www.800padutch.com.