Hershey Pennsylvania. The brainchild of Milton Hershey, a local boy with a fourth grade education would buy enough farm land in Lancaster PA to obtain enough milk to develop his milk chocolate recipe, which would debut in 1900 as the milk chocolate Hershey Bar. In 1907 he developed the Hershey Kiss, which would be hand wrapped until 1921. In March of 1903 he would start construction on what would become the world’s largest chocolate factor a real life Willie Wonka.
Once you arrive at Hershey’s Chocolate world you are given a plethora of touring options ranging from Free to costing a Fortune and even developing your own candy bar! We of course opted to try the free tour first, which was AMAZING! You get on a little car that takes you through the different processes of developing Cocoa Powder, Hershey Chocolate bars with and without Almonds, Reese’s Peanut Butter cups, Kisses and chocolate syrup. During this little tour you learn about the almond and cocoa bean sourcing. They have signs on the almond conveyor belts telling you where the almonds and cocoa beans from that day are sourced. Then they walk you through the roasting and grinding process to make cocoa powder before introducing you to their more famous products.
Occasionally, there are large windows over looking the merchandise floor, which is essentially a warehouse full of chocolate. Nothing more exciting for the kids or me. Let’s be honest.
Throughout the tour you see all of their products being packaged and flying down conveyor belts. There are fountains and white and dark chocolate flowing, chocolate bars and animated cows talking to you and of course at the end there is free chocolate.
The Chocolate World tour is just the tip of the Hershey empire. There was a whole amusement park that was closed for the season. The entire town exists because of Milton Hershey and his dream. He built the post office and school district for his employees and their families. In the 21st century the Hershey industry owns many other products to include (twizzler, Jolly Rancher and Reeses) they also have a Hershey ice cream line and are continuing the traditions and quality of where they started. This portion of Pennsylvania is definitely worth your time if you ever find yourself within a reasonable drive.