Cailler Chocolate Factory

I’ve been anxious to visit a chocolate factory ever since moving here and I’d heard good things about the Cailler Chocolate factory, near Gruyeres. But I felt it was too far for a day trip and kept waiting until I was in the area for another reason. But this summer, I couldn’t wait any longer and I’m happy to report a good time was had by all.

Location:   Western Switzerland
Address:
Car: ~2hr mins from Zurich
Train: ~2hr30 mins from Zurich
Open: year round, 10:00 to 16:00, until 17:00 in summer
Price (2016): adult CHF 12, children under 16 free when with adult
Services: cafe, playground, stroller accessible
More info:

Overview

The Cailler Chocolate Factory is in Broc, very near the small town of Gruyeres, about a 2 hour drive from Zurich. It’s a bit far to travel just for the chocolate factory, so I’d recommend combining it with a visit to Gruyeres and the nearby cheese factory, as we did. The drive wasn’t so bad (mostly on the freeway) and our whole group really enjoyed the factory. I would definitely recommend it.


outside factory (good rainy day option) … playground (not good in rain) … chocolate cafe (good in all weather)

Getting There

By car: Drive to Broc and follow signs to Maison Cailler. There is a large parking lot adjacent to the chocolate complex.

By transit: Take a train to Broc-Fabrique, then a short walk to Maison Cailler.

Details

What happens at the Chocolate factory? You will buy your ticket for a tour time, which can be within 20 minutes or an hour on a very busy summer day, as it was for us. While you wait, you can browse the chocolate shop, watch old tyme chocolate factory footage in the theater, drink hot cocoa and eat chocolate croissants in the cafe, and run around the playground outside the cafe. There’s plenty to do and distract, don’t worry.


Diorama rooms from tour. Small kids might be frightened by the dark and some of the light and sound effects, but the tour is short and you only stay in each room a couple minutes.

The tour group is small, about 20 people, and is given in a variety of languages. At your assigned time, your group will be led into the first of several diorama rooms that provide a history of chocolate and chocolate making in Switzerland. It’s a little hokey but fun, lasting about 20 minutes or so.


old fashioned chocolate making equipment


You exit into the “factory” where you can see and learn more about the chocolate making process. The kids loved smelling the different cocoa beans.


This was my favorite part of the tour. You can linger here as long as you like, reading as much or little as you like about all the different elements of chocolate making.


You only get to see one chocolate machine up close, but it’s super cool and you get to eat the chocolates that pop out of the machine in real time.


You can push buttons to watch videos about different machines in the factory, against the backdrop of the real factory.


Then you enter the tasting room, where you can eat as much chocolate as you want. Really, you can eat as much as you want, but don’t be surprised when you can’t eat as much as you think you can.


Cailler also offers chocolate making classes, but you have to reserve these ahead of time as they fill up quickly. I really wish I had known about that beforehand as my kids would have loved that. They have a children’s class for kids 6 and older. Other classes are 12 and older.

Before going, you might want to get excited by reading George Goes to a Chocolate Factory or Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

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