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Into The World Of Chocolates With The 58-Year-Old Winans Chocolates

Into The World Of Chocolates With The 58-Year-Old Winans Chocolates
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What is the most appealing thing about chocolate apart from eating it, of course? Being right there, seeing it being made, we reckon. Let us introduce you to Winans Chocolates where dreams of Charlie the chocolate factory come true. A factory tour in Piqua, Ohio that gave us a sneak peek into the making of these delicious chocolates, that had us drooling and we had to get in touch with the owners, Laurie and Joe. They're the 4th generation family owners of Winans Chocolates & Coffee, (coffee perked up our eyes too, but that is a topic we'll get into some other day) who stick to their traditional methods of chocolate making!

This World Chocolate Day, Winans Chocolates grabbed our eye-balls with their unique yet traditional approach and we had them spill some chocolate chips (pun intended).

Keeping with Traditions

Winans opened for chocolate business in October of 1961 and it's been 58 years since they've been establishing their rapport with chocolate lovers. Chocolate being a large part of the company, they offer some of the best products, made with fresh ingredients like real cream and butter that excludes any kind of preservatives and waxes. They still use the same recipes that have been handed down through the family from the original founder, Max Winans, to the current owners, Joe and Laurie (Winans) Reiser.

Laurie says, "We are not a trendy chocolate company. We even use many of the same machines we did almost 60 years ago, including our hobart mixer, chocolate enrobers and copper kettles to make chocolate and also stick to the same recipes. These recipes are impossible to improve upon so we don’t try."

On Popular Demand

Through years, they've tested a few new flavours to keep up with the food trends and flavours. Salted Caramel, Highlander Cream (inspired by their Highlander Grogg Coffee) and Lemon Cream were some of the flavours that became so popular that they bagged a permanent place on their shelves. With a wave of healthy nut bars breaking the food universe, the introduction of a Healthy Bar, loaded in dark chocolate and sprinkled with nuts and seeds made it to their menu too.

Other flavours like almond/pecan/or cashew wurtles also called a Winans turtle and Carmelo marshmallows make for a great treat amongst the locals.

Cant' Get Over Buckeye

Located in Ohio Valley, Winans celebrates local ingredients with utmost care and precision. One such product is the Buckeye candy which is a hand-rolled peanut buttery goodness, then dipped in premium milk chocolate. Winans is one of the handful chocolatiers who still hand roll and dip each buckeye. With other buckeye products like Buckeye Apples in winters and Peanut butter Eggs during Easter, buckeye is a festive favourite too. Buckeye flavour is also popular on their coffee menu with Buckeye Blend Coffee and Buckeye Frapps available all year long.

From Hand To Machine

It was only a few years ago that Laurie Winans stated that the Buckeye operations were mechanised using a 3-prong fork-like instrument designed by retired Piqua shop teacher Dixon Clement. She says, "Before that, approximately over ½ million Buckeyes were hand-dipped per year. Each employee hand-rolled at least 3 trays of buckeyes each morning. Bev Snyder, Winans buckeye dipper extraordinaire, dipped the delicate peanut butter pieces throughout the day."

The Winans factory tour takes you on a delicious journey of premium handmade chocolates and candies where you also learn how they source coffee from around the world.

Sustainability at it's Best

The 4th generation chocolatiers convince us that sustainability is the way to go, being particular about where they source chocolate from. Playing an active role in the World Cocoa Foundation, they buy products from companies that are leaders in advancing sustainable cocoa farming. She elaborates, "Our goal is to put as much money as possible back into our farmer's hands to ensure their livelihood and growth of their economy so that production can continue to flourish and quality can continue to rise. This is true for both our chocolate and coffee sourcing."

Chocolate is Happiness

“Life was like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get” by Forrest Gump is a quote Winans Chocolates lives by with their box of chocolates that are perfect for gifting! Each chocolate is handcrafted with love and utmost care to deliver an exceptional experience.

Courtesy: Laurie Winans Reiser & April DeBrosse

Shreya Jalavadia

Shreya Jalavadia

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