Swiss Chocolate Factories You Can Visit
Switzerland’s Chocolatey Origins
Switzerland is surprising in that it is so well known for its chocolate and produces approximately 175,000 tonnes of it each year, yet the climate is totally unsuitable for growing the two main ingredients, cocoa and sugar! However, its citizens eat between 11kg and 12kg of chocolate each year which is quite a lot more than the annual consumption of the Americans, the British or the Germans for example. So where did the Swiss love of chocolate stem from?
Swiss Chocolate Inventors
Cocoa itself came to Europe in the early 16th Century but it was Swiss craftsmen like François-Louis Cailler who established the first Swiss chocolate factory in Broc, around the end of the 18th Century, who really started the trend. In 1830, Swiss Chocolatier Charles-Amedee Kohler invented the process to make nut chocolate and in 1875, Daniel Peter (son-in-law of Henri Nestlé), invented milk chocolate. Rodolphe Lindt created the “conche” machine in 1879, which gives chocolate its “melt in the mouth” texture. All these passionate Swiss chocolatiers helped put Switzerland on the map for this much prized sweet delicacy. Later on, in the 19th century many of the Swiss chocolate brands we know so well like Lindt, Suchard, Sprüngli and Tobler were established.
Swiss Chocolate Factories and Ateliers You Can Visit
Did you know that here are a number of chocolate factories in Switzerland that you can visit? Some of them offer self guided tours, others run organised tours, workshops and tastings.
Here are some Swiss chocolate factories you can visit:
Lindt Chocolate Factory Kilchberg
There are no longer any factory tours available to the public, but there are a number of workshops and courses run at the Lindt Chocolate Factory in Kilchberg near Zurich. We attended the workshop to make pralinés.
Seestrasse 204, 8802 Kilchberg
Tel: +41 44 716 22 33
Maison Cailler Chocolate Factory in Broc
A great chocolate experience at Masion Cailler awaits you. The self guided tour tells of the history of chocolate in general and of the Cailler chocoate in particulat. It is both educational and entertaining and at the end there is a chocolate tasting. They also run a number of chocolate workshops which you can book in advance.
Rue Jules Bellet 7, 1636 Broc
Tel: +41 26 921 59 60
The Läderach Chocolate Experience in Bilten
Here you can take a self guided tour where you learn all about the production and history of chocolate in Switzerland. Once again you learn about where the ingredients come from and how chocolate is created. At the end you get to taste a variety of liquid chocolate!
Chocolate Experience Bilten
Grabenstrasse 6, 8865 Bilten
Tel: +41 55 645 77 80
Maestrani’s Chocolarium in Flawil
The famous Minor chocolates are produced by Maestrani at their Chocolarium near St. Gallen. You can take a self guided tour here and there are workshops too. Last year they celebrated their anniversary with a special Chocolate Day – find out more here.
Toggenburgerstrasse 41, 9230 Flawil
Tel: +41 71 228 38 88
ChocoWelt by Aeschbach Chocolatier in Root
ChocoWelt by Aeschbach is located in a place called Root between Zug and Lucerne. It’s very close to the train station and you get to see how chocolate is made. As well as tours they also run selected workshops too. There is also a cafe and shop on site too.
ChocoWelt is open daily from 10am to 5 pm.
ChocoWelt by Aeschbach
ChocoDromo 1,6037 Root
Tel:+41 41 747 33 66
Chocolat Frey Visitor Centre in Buchs
The Frey Chocolate Factory produces the chocolate for Migros stores as well as many other brands and is open Tuesdays to Sundays from 10am to 5pm (except for 1st Jan and 25th Dec).
Chocolat Frey AG
Bresteneggstrasse 4, 5033 Buchs
Tel: +41 62 836 26 26
Read about our visit to the Chocolat Frey Factory here.
Vollenweider have an atelier in Winterthur where they run workshops several times a year where you can make Easter bunnies and Chocolate Bears and Chocolate Santas. We went along to make a Chocolate Bear (read all about it here) and had great fun!
Vollenweider Chocolatier Confiseur, MANUFAKTURLADEN Chocol’Atelier, Palmstrasse, 8400 Winterthur
You can reserve your places for the next workshops here
Max Chocolatier Lucerne
Max Chocolatier has a boutique in Schlüsselgasse in Zurich but in Lucerne they have a small atelier where you can book to attend a handmade chocolate course which lasts approximately 45 minutes.
Max Chocolatier Lucerne
Schweizerhofquai 2, 6004 Lucerne
Tel: +41 41 418 70 90
Chocolatiers in Zurich
In Zurich you may not know that Confiserie Honold runs workshops and Open Days at their Atelier in Küsnacht. Check their website and follow them on Facebook to find out their next open days and workshops. We attended one of the Bunny Making Workshops at Honold’s – see our article here and also a Valentine’s Day Workshop too – see here.
In addition to the workshops and Open Days run by Confiserie Honold at their atelier in Küsnacht which we mentioned at the beginning of the article, please see below information on some more Zurich chocolate makers. They also run the annual “Schoggi Tram” or chocolate tram which takes place for about 10 days every Autumn. It’s a “must do” event – read all about it here.
Rennweg 53, 8001 Zurich
Tel: +41 44 211 52 58
Kay Keusen from Taucherli regularly runs events, workshops and Open Days at his premises just outside of Zurich and he specialises in doing “Bean to Bar Production”. For more information contact Taurcherli direct or check their website or Facebook page.
La Flor is an innovative, new Swiss chocolate maker producing great chocolate in Zurich. As well as selling it in a number of retail outlets and at Food Festivals and events, they also run a number of chocolate workshops which can be booked from their website.
Uetlibergstrasse 67, 8045 Zürich
Tel: +41 78 839 26 62
Other Zurich Chocolatiers
Known for its exuberant and extravagant floral displays, Teuscher is a family run business and although they don’t run workshops or courses, they are most famous for their champagne truffles. Following a family recipe which still uses Dom Perignon champagne no less (!!!), they create exquisite Champagne Truffles and chocolates at their factory in Dubendorf in Zurich and ship them to their customers and their shops all over the world.
Chocolat Dieter Meier
Revolutionising the chocolate scene is the Oro de Cacao “Chocolat Dieter Meier”. Using an innovative and patented cold extraction process, Dieter Meier’s chocolate has a unique flavour with almost no bitterness at all, even when tasting their 80% dark chocolate varieties. Again no workshops or courses that we are aware of at the moment, but certainly worth a visit.
Chocolat Dieter Meier
Wühre 15, 8001 Zürich
Tel: +41 44 221 96 64
Vanini Chocolate come from Lugano in the Ticino region of Switzerland where they have been making it since 1871. They have 3 stores in Lugano and now have a shop just off Bahnhofstrasse in Zurich where you can purchase their home made chocolate.
Tel: +41 91 923 82 83