CP#1’s Girl Scout troop is working towards their commerce badge. To make it fun, the troop leaders organized a trip to Wilbur’s Chocolates in Freeport, where the girls would spend the afternoon learning about chocolate and how it’s made. MP, who is never one to turn down an opportunity for chocolate samples, decided to tag along.
Wilbur’s, which is located in an orange farmhouse on Route 1 called “The Pumpkin House,” has been in business since 1983. According to our tour guide, Tom and Catherine Wilbur started out with a retail store. Soon after, Tom began experimenting with chocolate making. The pair eventually made the decision to make and sell their own confections. The first chocolate Tom Wilbur developed is the iconic Wilbur’s moose, which is still sold at their shops today.
After learning about the business, our guide showed the girls a cacao bean and explained that it came from a tropical, evergreen tree that grows in South America. The seeds from the cacao bean are used to make cocoa butter, cocoa powder and chocolate.
The troop was interested in the lesson, but were anxious to try making their own chocolate covered marshmallow and graham cracker treats. We followed our guide to the factory, which is filled with candy making supplies, old-fashioned chocolate molds, and a conveyor belt for chocolate making. All of us were asked to wash hands and put on hairnets. If ever there was an “I Love Lucy” moment, this was it.
Our guide turned on the conveyor and gave each of us a graham cracker and heart-shaped marshmallow. We painted the graham crackers with a bit of chocolate, placed the pairing on the belt and let the conveyor drip dark chocolate over the whole treat. Next, we took turns decorating our treats with colorful sprinkles.
We all had to wait a little while for our chocolates to continue down the conveyor. Our guide explained that the chocolate had to cool and dry before the girls could package their treats to bring home.
Our field trip to the chocolate shop and factory was such fun! We would definitely bring friends or family back to visit again. To tour the factory, visit Wilbur’s events page for dates and times. Just be prepared for lots of samples!
174 Lower Main Street