An insider's view of the Connecticut dining scene
Sep 23, 2013
09:26 AMThe Connecticut Table
Fascia's Raises the (Gourmet Chocolate) 'Bar': New Store, Tours, Make-Your-Own Bar
Columbus Day is one of those holidays that can trip you up, not because it honors Christopher Columbus’ arrival in the Americas but because it sails in under-the-radar enough that you don’t see it coming until it has arrived. Then you’re confronted with the fact that the kids don’t have school, and by that point, whichever parent isn’t working is behind the eight ball in terms of finding something cool to do.
Here’s some intel that will allow you to plan ahead this year: What could be more cool than touring the brand new factory and retail store of a gourmet chocolates operation, Fascia’s Chocolates, Inc., which is holding a festive, three-day grand opening over Columbus Day weekend for its new site at 44 Chase River Road in Waterbury.
Actually, here’s what’s more cool: Visit Fascia’s, honored for the state’s best chocolates in our Best of Connecticut 2012, take the tour—and also connect with the opportunity to make your own chocolate bar.
For the holiday weekend, the Fascia family, creators and owners of Fascia’s Chocolates for 50 years, will welcome grand opening guests to the new 12,500-square-foot chocolate factory, according to a release.
In addition to factory tours, there will be live music between 2 and 4 p.m., with the Willie Novinger Band of Southbury performing Saturday, and the Marty Q Band of Waterbury on Sunday, along with free samples of Fascia’s gourmet handmade chocolates and newly-introduced gelatos and sorbets. Raffles will be held daily, and Miss Greater Waterbury Scholarship titleholders will stop by.
“Fascia’s Chocolates has created the unprecedented opportunity in Connecticut for visitors to make-their-own-chocolate bars during factory tours,” the release says. “With the ambition of being a distinctive year-round, family-fun destination, they offer the very uncommon hands-on opportunity for visitors to actually make-their-own chocolate bars plus add toppings of their choice. Fascia’s also offers their very own gelato flavors made with authentic Italian ingredients and locally-sourced milk, plus sorbets, both perfect complements to their high-quality gourmet chocolates.”
The factory tours will be held between noon and 6 p.m. all three days. The fee is $5 per person, and $10 per person for the tour and the opportunity to make your own chocolate bar. Reservations are not required but are recommended.
Meanwhile, among the raffle prizes will be the opportunity to win a “Golden Anniversary Prize Certificate” (GAP). The Fascia family has created 50 GAPs in honor of the year-long 50th Anniversary celebration, which they will launch during their Columbus Day weekend grand opening festivities, the release says.
Winners of a GAP will receive 1 lb. of Fascia's Classic Assortment, the opportunity to be an Honorary Chocolatier and Official Taster for a day at Fascia's new factory, and the chance to win one of seven grand prizes at Fascia's Anniversary Party in September 2014.
“We look forward to welcoming the Golden Anniversary Prize winners to work at Fascia’s for one day and be as involved as they desire,” Fascia’s Chocolates President Carmen Romeo said in the release. “They can help us make chocolate, use our equipment, and do the work of everyday packaging. And, of course, we would expect them to be our ‘Main Taster for the Day’ while they are here with us.”
The family-owned Fascia’s Chocolates was founded in 1964 by John and Helen Fascia. Its new location at 44 Chase River Road in Waterbury is located immediately off Route 8 North at Exit 36, just two minutes from I-84. The new factory and retail store also houses Lynne’s Chocolate Fakery, offering freshly-baked goods and cupcakes that include fresh whipped crème cupcakes, truffle cupcakes, peanut butter cupcakes and many more delicious cupcakes.
Additionally, Fascia’s Chocolates’ new location features an outdoor patio with picnic tables. The main entrance displays a collection of previously-used chocolate-making molds and Fascia’s Chocolates’ memorabilia that includes newspaper articles and photographs that span the past five decades of the family’s success as renowned chocolate makers.
In terms of the tours, through a large window visitors can view Fascia’s production room to obtain a behind-the-scenes look at every stage of gourmet chocolate production, the release says. “To enhance their observation,” explained Romeo, “we have live cameras looking onto the factory floor for ‘up-close’ viewings of production activities. Visitors can also view our video and photographic descriptions of the various stages of how chocolate products are produced. In addition to the engaging and educational features of the tour, visitors can also choose the unique experience of making their own chocolate bar with toppings. Once their bar has cooled, they will place their bar into a wrapper, seal it, and put on their own seal ‘Made by Me at Fascia’s Chocolates.’”
Ongoing tours are offered at Fascia’s Chocolate Factory Saturdays at 12 noon, 2, 4 and 6 p.m. and Sundays at 1 and 3 p.m. Fascia’s retail store is open year-round, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesdays through Thursdays; 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays; and 12 to 5 p.m. Sundays. The store and factory are closed Mondays except between Thanksgiving and Christmas.
For tour schedules, and to make online reservations, visit the website www.fasciaschocolates.com. The phone number is 203-753-0515. Fascia’s can also be found on Facebook, and you can follow them on Twitter.
For more great gourmet options, consult our Best of Connecticut 2013, which can now be downloaded as an iPad app. Also make sure to vote in our Readers' Choice: Best Restaurants 2014 survey, which is live online now.Fascia's Raises the (Gourmet Chocolate) 'Bar': New Store, Tours, Make-Your-Own Bar