As if chocolate doesn't make people ridiculously happy anyway, Seattle's Theo Chocolate is a feel-good company built on a passion for its product and values of organic, non-GMO and Fair Trade-certified yumminess, in fact, it's the U.S.'s first organic and Fair Trade chocolate factory. Housed in the former Redhook Brewery in the creative and colourful neighbourhood of Fremont north of downtown Seattle, Theo Chocolate Factory Tours are a popular attraction.
The daily tours are US$6 per person (recommended for visitors aged seven years and over) and run from 11am to 4pm from Monday to Thursday and from 10:30am to 4:30pm on Fridays and weekends. The factory tours are extremely popular and it's recommended to reserve a spot online up to a month in advance. As it's a factory tour, visitors are asked to wear closed-toe footwear and refrain from wearing fragrance on the day. The one-hour tour covers the history and science of chocolate, the source of Theo's cacao beans, social and environmental issues affecting cacao farmers, a walk-through of their bean-to-bar process, as well as plenty of chocolate sampling along the way.
Staying in Seattle for a while? You can also book into Chocolate University Classes to learn hands-on tips and techniques for a variety of sweet treats. Also onsite is the Confection Kitchen where Theo chocolatiers create their small-batch, artisanal delicacies, and the Factory Retail Store to stock up if the tour sampling does not sate you. Some of the unique flavours for which Theo is known include Fig, Fennel & Almond; Coconut Curry; Chai; and Bread & Chocolate, alongside more traditional combinations, drinking chocolate and caramels.
To get to Theo Chocolate Factory from downtown Seattle, take buses 5, 26, 28 or 40 to the Fremont Avenue North & North 34th Street stop, turn left onto 35th Street North and it's a five-minute walk to the factory.