Chicago Chocolate Tour

Lindt Bunnies!

Lindt Bunnies!

Last month, Bridget and I went on a Chicago Chocolate Tour to celebrate the birthdays of our dear friends Y. & S. There are several tours available through Valerie Beck’s company, and we chose one that wouldn’t require too much walking and shivering on a chilly March Saturday. In other words, we walked down Michigan Avenue and ducked in and out of shops.
Since the set-up was already perfect, we had expectations of learning about each company, finding out what set their chocolate apart, and maybe getting some background information about their chocolate selection and process. However, what we got was a brief pitch, samples of chocolate and coupons for our next purchase.

The tour is clearly not for foodies. Even though it was billed as educational, there was little effort to impart information about the chocolate or to make us more informed chocolate consumers. Our guide, while very friendly, had recently been on a Master Cleanse Diet and was more interested in sharing her experience with lemon water.

We did let them know in advance that Bridget had accessibility issues, and Valerie, the owner, hovered over the tour to make sure there were no problems. And while that was a nice attention to detail, we wished they had paid equal attention to making the tour as informative as possible.
I think the tour would work best for total Chicago newbies, out-of-towners, or those with a fear of navigating the Mag Mile. However, I think folks would do fine if they did a little prep work on the Internet and asked nicely for samples at each store. My advice? Save the tour fee and take one of those horse-drawn carriage rides instead.

Chicago Chocolate Tours
150 N. Michigan Avenue, Suite 2800

Stores visited on the tour:
Teuscher’s Chocolates
Lindt Chocolate
Godiva
Ghirardelli
Vosges Haut Chocolate
Moonstruck Chocolate Co. (OUT OF BUSINESS)
Note: It would be very easy to also sneak in Ethel’s and Hershey’s if you were so inclined.

Many tasty truffles await a choc-o-holic at Vosges!

Many tasty truffles await a choc-o-holic at Vosges!

  1. Valerie left a comment on July 2, 2007 at 9:48 am

    Hello there!
    Thank you for taking a Chicago Chocolate Tour, and please accept my deep apologies for the fact that the tour didn’t meet your expectations.
    The tour *is* supposed to include fascinating facts on the history of chocolate, the history of the stores, the health benefits of chocolate, and more – lots more!
    I take full responsibility for any shortcomings we had on the tour, and I’ve recently made some changes to my program and personnel. Plus, I’ve added yet more fabulous chocolate shops.
    I hope that you will come back and be my guests for free to see what the *new* Chicago Chocolate Tours is all about! Just let me know when you’d like to return.
    With friendship in chocolate,
    Valerie

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