Jilly Wonka and the Newfoundland Chocolate Company

When I was a child, there were approximately five movies I would faithfully rent from a video store in Placentia. Of the select few, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory was near the top of my list. Though fairly terrified of oompa loompas and the eerie river boat ride, the factory itself always left me in amazement. Fast-forward 20 years later and I have finally fulfilled my dreams of becoming a self-proclaimed chocolatier. In this post, I highlight yet another amazing “to-do” in our province, the Discover Chocolate Workshop with Newfoundland Chocolate Company.

Newfoundland Chocolate Company is owned by a wonderful husband-wife duo, Brent and Christina, whose story make the idea of the company even more magical (I encourage you to read more about it here). From small beginnings of a workshop in their basement, the company now employs over one hundred wonderful workers in Newfoundland as well as Nova Scotia. Taste-testing aside, what I love most about their chocolate is that many pieces tell a unique story using our history, culture, and even dialect. Bars of Row Houses and local ingredients such as sea salt and Screech convey that their story (as stated in the link) is not only about a love of chocolate, but also a love of our province. In addition to purchasing their fabulous products online and in store, you can also register for a class to further appreciate the labour and luxury of a local chocolaterie. Naturally, this is what I did.

Although there are a few different classes to choose from, the Discover Chocolate Workshop was a great choice for beginners like myself. It was definitely laid back and all about having fun while creating an amazing product. Before the class started, I was treated to a tour of the downtown facility. It is absolutely amazing how much of their production is still completed by hand. After the tour, the class commenced with Brent speaking about the history of the company. This proved a lesson in itself. Did you know: the Duckworth Street location is one of the only buildings in that downtown area to survive the Great Fire of 1892 in St. John’s? Following the tid-bits of intriguing history, we spoke a little about the science of chocolate-making including the growth of cocoa beans and process of tempering.

Within the class were a variety of attendees; some on a date, some parent-child duos, and many there by themselves with a simple love of fine sweets. The experience is definitely versatile as well as a fabulous gift idea. Most importantly, it is beyond fun! Throughout the class, we were given the opportunity to make our outer shells from either dark or milk chocolate. While that was setting, we planned our fillings – milk, dark, or white chocolate with a buffet of other additions such as biscotti, coffee, and dried berries. Messy and delicious, it was a great experience to be able to create our own box of specialty chocolates. I was definitely shocked by the wonderful finished product!

Some other products/experiences by the company include:

Wedding Chocolate – Perfect for favours, bridal party gifts and beyond. The company will take care of everything from start to finish.

Picnics – Offered by the Signal Hill café location throughout the summer, they serve as a perfect date with a friend or significant other. Photos below taken from http://abeautifulinspiration.com/signal-hill-picnic-st-johns-newfoundland/

Low Sugar Selection – For anyone watching their intake, there are a variety of treats to choose from including individual chocolates, bars, and almond bark.

Gifts for all – Two occasions which you may still be stuck for include Father’s Day and end-of-year gifts for teachers. The answer is always chocolate. The “NL Sayings” bars are my absolute favorites to give as a little thank-you.

The Newfoundland Chocolate Company is certainly a champion within a provincial business model. They support many initiatives in St. John’s and beyond which make for meaningful partnerships and promote further tourism on our beautiful island. I cannot think of a more delicious and genuine way to support local. The class, the chocolate, and the meaning behind it all is Some Shockin Good.

P.S. Keep your eye out in the near future for a very exciting *NEW LOCATION* – No golden ticket required.

~ Jill

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