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Worth a Trip: Hartville Chocolate Factory

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Hartville – If you’ve ever wished for a place to get in touch with your inner Willy Wonka, then you’ll want to plan a trip to Cocoa Concepts in nearby Hartville. That’s because at Cocoa Concepts, the company behind the Hartville Chocolate Factory, you can roll up your sleeves and become a chocolatier for the day. You’ll learn the history and process of chocolate making, from bean to bar. You’ll see the process, sample delectable chocolates, and depart with a chocolate care package well worth the cost of the tour ($10 per person). Just make sure to plan ahead to book your special tour, since advance notice is required.

“We are the one-stop shop for all of your chocolate needs,” beamed Scott Huckestein, Cocoa Concepts President and CEO. “Not only do we provide candy making molds and equipment, custom design services, and chocolate production; we also offer group tours, after-hour events and chocolate tastings…we do it all!”

Elementary students visit to learn how chocolate is made, while high schoolers come to investigate the chemistry of chocolate. Corporate customers visit Cocoa Concepts headquarters to learn how to improve production or to demo patented confectionary manufacturing equipment. Business and community groups use the facility to host decadent events. The nearby chocolate production facility services Hartville Chocolates’ two retail locations, and can manufacture private label products for customers, as well. They’ll be offering organic chocolate by year-end, too. “It’s one of the best-kept secrets in Hartville,” Huckstein shared. “What I appreciate most is being surrounded by like-minded people who work together to find solutions. Plus, it’s wonderful to be surrounded by chocolate,” he joked.

While Huckstein began as an aircraft technician, after the tragic events of 9/11, he switched gears completely. In pursuing his passion for chocolate, he owned and operated a small artisan retail chocolate shop in Michigan. He then became a franchise developer with the Schakolad Chocolate Factory in Argentina, and eventually founded Cocoa Concepts to provide a sweet package of resources to clients and customers. With the recent acquisition of Chocolate Concepts, a chocolate mold and equipment supplier and the Hartville Chocolate Factory, a 30-year-old landmark establishment in Hartville, Cocoa Concepts combines all aspects of services under one chocolate-coated umbrella.

Find out more on Facebook, or check out their new websites: Cocoaconceptsinc.com and Hartvillechocolatefactory.com.

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Stacy Turner is a wife, mother, and contributing reporter who has lived in the Mantua/Hiram area for over a dozen years. After enjoying a career in marketing, where she spent her time writing on behalf of other people, she gets a kick out of writing under her own name. Mostly, she enjoys the opportunity to learn more about her community through the stories she covers.