Check out the Make-a-Bar tour at Creo Chocolate—it’s part educational food-factory tour, part chocolate-designing fun and part yummy samples. Or drop by for treats or hot chocolate, plus peeks into the factory.
Last week, my eight-year-old daughter Maggie and I went on the Make-a-Bar tour at Creo Chocolate, a small batch bean-to-bar chocolate factory and tasting room near the Lloyd Center.
The factory is small, but there is plenty to see and learn. Janet, one of the owners of Creo, led our hour-long tour, which included a presentation about chocolate and a glimpse at chocolate in its stages from cacao beans to finished treats.
I found the information about the chocolate-making process fascinating. It was great to see pictures of the owner Janet with the farmers she works with in Ecuador, and Janet did a great job of keeping both me and Maggie engaged through the tour.
The Make-a-Bar tour is suggested for kids 8 years old and up, and I’d say that recommendation is about right. Maggie, who turned 8 recently, was interested, but a little antsy at times. She definitely enjoyed designing her chocolate bar, adding sprinkles, chocolate candy and peppermint to hers. (I chose potato chips for mine.)
A big part of the Creo mission is the sustainable use of chocolate, making and enjoying real chocolate, and sharing it with the community. And while it was fun to design the chocolate bar and enjoy some samples, I was honestly moved by the focus on craftsmanship and community at this Portland business.
As we started the tour, I was worried that because the chocolate was mostly dark chocolate, Maggie wouldn’t like it. That was not a problem! We both enjoyed all the chocolate we sampled, and I did develop more of an appreciation for the subtleties of the taste. The samples were modestly sized, and without much added sugar, so I didn’t need to worry about a sugar crash for either of us.
If your kids aren’t old enough for the tour, you can drop by Creo to enjoy a hot chocolate and check out some of the equipment, read the chocolate-making information signs, and peek to see what is happening that day in the factory. There are tables in the cafe area and the spot is airy and welcoming.
If You Go
122 NE Broadway, Portland, OR 97232
Closed Sunday and Monday.
Reservations and pre-payment required for tour ($20/per person). Or drop into the cafe and tasting room for hot chocolate and treats, and get a glimpse into the factory.