A factory tour with Thornton’s chocolate! #chocolateweek

A few weeks ago I hopped on a plane from Belfast City Airport and I took a short flight over to East Midlands. My destination? The Thornton’s chocolate factory in Somercoates. Yes, you heard me right, a chocolate factory! 

My travels over were pretty smooth, and before I knew it, I was sitting in the reception room of the Derbyshire Thornton’s chocolate factory. I got my visitor pass and I couldn’t wait to get through the main factory doors to smell nothing but melted chocolate, toffee, and other delicious creations Thorton’s are well-known for creating for over 100 years.

Once our little band of bloggers had all arrived we met Mike & John who were to be our tour guides for the experience. The guys were a great pair, they made us feel really at ease and they were on the ball because the questions of curiosity we fired at them was unreal and not once did they not know the answer to a question. So hats off to the lads for being wells of knowledge on everything Thorntons.

Thorntons-Chocolate-Factory-Tour
Thorntons-Chocolate-Factory-Tour

So, after food and a good old chat with everyone the factory tour was upon us. The security within the Thorntons factory is super tight and both hygiene and protecting the product is key. So we were fashioned in Factory floor coats, white shoes and hair nets and after washing our hands we got into two groups before going through those exciting factory floor doors. The factory is so amazing and quite frankly, I was a bit dazzled. I mean, we were in an actual chocolate factory. That has to be every chocolate lovers dream, right?

Anyways, as we were shown round we got to see how those delicious Thorntons chocolates are made. From the super cool rotating machines to make their famous hollow chocolate figures {The Snowman, Rabbits at Easter etc}, to the production line of tens of THOUSANDS of chocolates delicately being drizzled in chocolate then sprinkled with joy. 

Thorntons-Chocolate-Factory-Tour
Thorntons-Chocolate-Factory-Tour
We were also very lucky to see the toffee pouring and let me tell you, that was something else. The smell was ah-mazing! and just being able to see the giant mixers pouring out all of that glorious toffee was very cool {apparently not every tour group is lucky enough to witness it!}. Also, it’s done by hand, isn’t that crazy! The precision and speed of the toffee pourer is a skill in itself.

Thorntons-factory-tour-2016
Obviously, Thorntons are insanely busy around the holidays e.g Easter, Halloween and with Christmas just round the corner it was pretty cool to see how the chocolate Snowman figurines were made. They get put onto these giant rotating arms which are so hypnotically pleasing to watch in action.

Thorntons-Chocolate-Factory-Tour
We also got to have a little taste of the freshly made Thorntons chocolates and I cannot even tell you how amazing they tasted! I mean, Thorntons chocolate bought in store is great, but when they’re straight from the production line, ah-mazing!

Thorntons-factory-tour-2016
I was mostly impressed by how much the factory workers actually complete by hand. I mean, they go through millions of chocolates every week and a huge fraction of those are finished off by hand. Isn’t that insane! It was pretty awesome seeing them in action and how personable Thorntons as a brand truly are. I wasn’t aware of their personalize section on their website, seeing their range {which you can see here} and seeing workers write children’s names on their personalized advent calendars was pretty cool. 

Thorntons-factory-tour
After the tour of the factory, we got to make our very own chocolate, shown by one of Thorntons very own chocolatiers. What a job, eh! She was amazing and was clearly very skilled at her job. She showed us the basics, and then let us loose to get creative.

Thorntons-Chocolate-Factory-Tour
We had an array of gorgeous fillings in front of us, everything from crunchy praline {my personal favorite} to chocolate orange ganache; yum! Along with the fillings, we had an insane amount of fun sprinkles to choose from too. It was lots of fun doing this part because mostly, during these sorts of opportunities it’s our children that get to be creative and us Parents are left with the mess. This time, it was the other way round, sorry for the mess Thorntons! 😉

Thorntons-Chocolate-Factory-Tour
Thorntons-Chocolate-Factory-Tour

Some of my chocolate creations.

Thorntons-Chocolate-Factory-Tour
We were also shown how to make our own chocolate bowl to place our chocolates into {how exciting and such a fabulous idea} and once done, we wrapped it all up which looked like the perfect little gift for a chocolate fan! 

Thorntons-Chocolate-Factory-Tour
Thorntons-Chocolate-Factory-Tour

How cute is my little chocolate bowl all wrapped up!

Thorntons-Chocolate-Factory-Tour

Thorntons-factory-tour

Check us all out, hard at work!

A huge thank you to Thorntons for inviting me over to experience their Factory tour, I had a great time and it was also lovely seeing some blogger friends and making new ones. In the below photo there is: Amy from Everything Mummy, Emily from A Mummy Too, Alex from Bump to Baby, Emma from Mrs Shilts, Jo from Slummy Single Mummy, Jade from Raising the Rings, Hayley from Sparkles and Stretchmarks, Charlotte from Write like noones watching & Nell from The Pigeon Pair and Me.

Thorntons-factory-tour
Disclosure: I was invited to Thorntons to tour their factory in return for my post. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Images supplied are from myself, Thorntons and Emily Leary, from A Mummy Too. 

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2 Comments

  1. 16/10/2016 / 8:06 PM

    Hey! Great post, and thanks for the shout-out! It’s great to hear you enjoyed the day, and I’m glad we were able to answer your questions 🙂 and no problem on the mess, it was our pleasure to host you all! Take care!

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