The Chocolate Factory Museum: Exploring the Wonders of Cocoa!
Chocolate: a temptation that no adult or child can resist. This delicacy has a long history, with roots in Mexico dating back to about 1900 BC.
To the Aztec civilization, cocoa beans were considered to be a unique gift from the God of wisdom, Quetzalcoatl. Nowadays, cocoa has unsurprisingly become one of our own sacred gifts, as chocolate – the main product of cocoa – is usually one of the first things we think of when sweet cravings come!
Inspired by the popular passion for chocolate, a talented and creative team of Greeks came together, with the help of Helexpo SA, and organized a theme park of 37,000 sq. feet known as the Chocolate Factory Museum.
The park was initially launched in Thessaloniki for several days during September 2015 and then was settled into Athens on November 7, 2015, open through February 21 2016. Combining both educational and entertainment aspects, the Chocolate Factory revives childhood memories and emotions. As visitors stroll among sculptures of chocolate, they are sure to feel like a kid, enchanted by the magical scenery!
Constructed according to the European Standards and definitely a state-of-the-art project, The Chocolate Factory Museum invites visitors to take in the various chapters of chocolate history. Various didactics provide information about cocoa trees, the seeds, the production of chocolate and the countries that import and export the beans. The team of tour guides is informed, enthusiastic, friendly and ready to answer all questions as well as provide fascinating trivia about the exhibits.
In the Temple of Aztecs, a wooden cabin, visitors can learn about the legends of Aztec civilization, customs and religion. The didactics are conveniently provided in Greek and English. In another cabin, a “choco-explorer” video projection humorously describes chocolate history through the ages.
The floorplan setup is quite impressive, following the story of how the cocoa was first imported from the Amazon jungle into European countries by Spanish and Portugal conquerors and then ending with the chocolate industry as it is known today. Designers of the exhibit detail the beauty of Amazon in the jungle, from “lakes”, flora and jungle sound effects to mist machines that replicate the “humid” conditions.
In the Cookie Factory, guests learn how to make cookies during the “mad-cookie man’s” demonstration, his antics making children of all ages laugh. The Chemistry Lab is also a place full of tricks, where a “chemist” performs acts of illusion. In the Choco Factory, visitors will find small labs where crews demonstrate the stages of chocolate production and of choco-waffle making.
The most captivating scene in the Choco Museum is, without doubt, the Labyrinth that leads into the magic forest where a guard stands watch of the Choco-Falls! The falls are made of 320 gallons of chocolate; it is here people know they are in Wonderland.
The Museum also include chocolate paint plate painting, retro posters and sculptures of ION, one of the Greek major chocolate companies, and cookie constructions of Papadopoulou, one of the most well-known Greek cookie companies.
Other activities include the chance for fun photos with the crew, chocolate tasting (including the Aztec recipe of hot chocolate beverage with chili) admiring chocolate sculptures created by LeMonde Personnel, and, surely to the visitor’s surprise, instructions on how best to brush your teeth after eating chocolate. Last but not least, workshops are available for children, from painting, to sugar paste creations, and so on. The staff also offers samples to both children and adults!
The Chocolate Factory Museum is a unique opportunity for everyone who loves chocolate, especially for children, to experience something fun and refreshing, to learn about the history of chocolate and an opportunity to indulge their sweet craving…
Plans are in the works to take this magical adventure to other countries (Russia and Turkey may be next), be sure to visit their website for updates!
To learn more, visit:
Helexpo is a nationally regarded institution, responsible for the organization of various exhibitions and conferences in Greece.
Photographs courtesy of Konstantinos Loukopoulos
Exhibit Details: Konstantinos Loukopoulos, Petros Zondiros and the Chocolate Museum Guides n