Ohio may not have its own Willy Wonka, but it still has a pretty great chocolate factory that families on holiday break can tour: the Fannie May and Harry London Chocolate Factory.
Fannie May—the chocolatier, not the mortgage association—originally opened in Chicago in 1920, but the franchise moved its production to North Canton, Ohio, in 2004 when it was purchased by Alpine Confections. Made famous for its caramel and chocolate-covered nut “Pixies,” Fannie May now shares facilities with Harry London. The latter began in 1922 in Harry London’s home kitchen, eventually expanding its line of fine chocolates in the Canton factory and store in the 1950s.
During the tour, visitors will learn the background of both brands through a video and heritage wall and observe as a cocoa bean makes its journey from organic substance to decedent treat through the addition of serious amounts of sugar and locally sourced cream. In a single day, the factory goes through 30,000 pounds of chocolate in the making of their buckeyes, chocolate covered strawberries, trinidads, and more. The factory remains up and running for the duration of the free, 45-minute tour, which concludes at the chocolate shop so guests can sample the factory’s finest.
Grab a few boxes of the good stuff to go, then hit up Swensons Drive In, just ten minutes south, to fuel up for the ride home with one of their award-winning Galley Boy burgers—there’s still time before that New Year’s resolution kicks in, so you might as well make the most of it.
Fannie May and Harry London Chocolate Factory, 5353 Lauby Road, North Canton, fanniemay.com/chocolate-tour