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As part of my seeing the same things in a different way initiative, I’m making more of an effort to get out and explore Seattle. Between living in the area most of my life and going to school in the city, it just doesn’t excite me, even though I know it has a ton to offer. When people ask for recommendations of where to go or what to do in Seattle, I have suggestions…I’m just not usually as enthusiastic about them as I am when I’m telling people what to do in Chiang Mai.
Except for this one.
Theo Chocolate is the first organic and fair-trade chocolate factory in North America.
It. Is. Good.
And all the company’s chocolate bars and confections are made in Seattle’s Fremont neighborhood. Not only is the chocolate delicious and inventive, with bars like Ginger, Fig Fennel & Almond, and even Bread & Chocolate that actually has toasted sourdough crumbles, but they’re also incredibly well done with Theo handling the bean to bar process all the way.
That’s pretty impressive and not done that often. In fact, the quality of Theo Chocolate is so high that in their pure milk chocolate bar, there’s the same level of cacao than in Hershey’s Special Dark chocolate. Additionally, since the company is fair-trade, everyone involved in the process, from the cacao farmers to the tasting room counter clerks, are being paid fair wages in good working conditions. This pretty much sums it all up:
The factory runs daily tours, taking you through the entire process of what goes into making chocolate, for just $10 per person. This is just a good price all around, but especially when you consider their chocolate bars start at $3.25. During the tour you learn about growing cacao trees and how the beans are processed, walk through the factory that produces thousands of chocolate bars a day, see workers in action hand mixing chocolate and, of course, get to try plenty of samples.
The tours run for about an hour and end in the showroom where you can buy some bars for yourself or taste more samples. If you’re in the area but don’t have time for a tour still stop by the showroom – you can try almost every treat they have!
The Theo Chocolate factory and showroom are located in Fremont at 3400 Phinney Avenue North. They run tours daily and it’s a good idea to book ahead for the time you want (especially during the summer or holidays) since the tour groups are pretty small. You can book online here or call (206) 632-5100 for more details.