An insider's view of the Connecticut dining scene
Jul 16, 2013
09:58 AM
The Connecticut Table

Make Your Own Chocolate Bar Tours at Fascia's Chocolates' New Waterbury Site

Make Your Own Chocolate Bar Tours at Fascia's Chocolates' New Waterbury Site

Courtesy of Fascia's Chocolates

Fascia's Chocolates closed on the purchase of its new home at 44 Chase River Road in Waterbury on July 12. This permanent new location will offer both behind-the-scenes factory tours and the unique opportunity for visitors to make-your-own-chocolate bar.

Despite the closing last October of the nonpareil Belgique Chocolatier in Kent and New Canaan, Connecticut remains a state blessed with (dark, milk, white and more) riches when it comes to gourment and artisan chocolates--and that richness just got richer with the announcment today that Fascia's Chocolates is moving to a permanent new home in Waterbury to become more of a destination that will even offer make-your-own-chocolate-bar tours. To connect with the state's other outlets for sweet nirvana, see the Connecticut Chocolate Trail. And also take note of a unique artisan operation in rural Goshen that hasn't yet made its way onto the chocolate trail list.

Meanwhile, the press release on Fascia's move, just released Tuesday afternoon, says it all. Here it is in full:

Fascia’s Chocolates, Inc., which has begun celebration of its 50th successful year in business, has announced they will be moving their factory and retail store operations to 44 Chase River Road in Waterbury this coming September. “We have finally purchased a building that will serve as our permanent home,” stated Carmen Romeo, Fascia’s Chocolates Vice President and General Manager. “We will be creating a family-fun destination that will offer year-round factory tours with the very unique hands-on opportunity for visitors to make-their-own chocolate bars. We will also be introducing our own hand-made gelatos and sorbets, which we believe are perfect complements to our gourmet chocolates.”

Named “Best Chocolates in Connecticut” by “Connecticut” magazine in 2012, family-owned Fascia’s was founded by John and Helen Fascia in 1964. The couple began making candy in their Waterbury home to supplement John’s livelihood as a toolmaker. With the help of their three young daughters, Fascia’s Chocolates became the family’s full-time passion and the business grew out of their house. Through each of the five Waterbury locations through the past 50 years, the business became a treasured destination and tradition for their loyal customers. Today, John and Helen, and their daughters, continue to work in the factory on a regular basis while their son-in-law, Romeo, has taken on the general management responsibilities since 2009.

“This is a tremendously exciting time for everyone at Fascia’s,” stated Romeo, “and, we believe, the community of Waterbury at large. Our high-quality gourmet chocolates have been well-known locally for 50 wonderful years. Today, our ambition is to help build broader awareness of Fascia’s Chocolates, and Waterbury in general, in people’s minds as a destination for every season of every year. Our new 12,500 square foot factory is conveniently located immediately off Route 8 North at Exit 36, easily accessed from Interstate 84. In our new location, our expanded retail store will also house Lynne’s Chocolate Cakery which was started by Fascia daughter, Lynne Mouanes, and has become well-known for fresh cakes and cupcakes during the past two years.”

Romeo stated that Fascia’s will now be a ‘one-of-a-kind’ destination for visitors of all ages. “In addition to factory tours, we will offer the unique hands-on experience of visitors creating their own chocolate bars with their own toppings. There are many well-known chocolate factories in the U.S., the majority of which do not allow visitors onto their factory floors, let alone allow visitors to actually make their own chocolate treats. Fascia’s unique hands-on opportunity is unlike other chocolatiers in the northeast region of the United States, and definitely not in Connecticut.”

Fascia’s Chocolates will continue to offer children’s birthday parties, group tours and private workshops and parties. “Our special events area will be expanded to over 850 square feet in the new location to give more space for corporate meetings, non-profit fundraising events, and private celebrations for showers, birthdays, and year-round holiday celebrations”, stated Romeo. Fascia’s also hopes to begin hosting school field trips. “There is a lot of science involved in chocolate making and we believe middle-school-aged children can learn a lot in a fun way. Another ambition will be to partner with the Mattatuck Museum and TimeExpo to create special-interest tours throughout each year, for visitors of all ages.”

Situated along the Naugatuck River, Fascia’s new 44 Chase River Road factory and retail store will be located where the City of Waterbury is currently designing a Greenway along the riverside for walkers, bikers, picnickers, and nature lovers. “Our staff is very excited about the future with the potential for a beautiful park-like-setting directly across from our location. We believe our offerings of gourmet chocolates, cakes, cupcakes, gelato and sorbet will nicely complement the Greenway which will contribute greatly to making Fascia’s Chocolates a very attractive destination.”

The larger-sized factory will also allow Fascia’s to expand partnerships with retail outlets where their chocolates are sold. “Currently,” explained Romeo, “we have over 30 retail partners in Waterbury and throughout Connecticut. With more people discovering us through the newly-created tourism aspect of our business, we look forward to expanding our current reach plus add more gift, floral and supermarket stores as partners in areas we currently do not serve.“

Reservations for tours of Fascia’s Chocolates’ new factory will not be required, but will be recommended. Tours will be available weekends beginning in September at $5/person, and $10/person for the opportunity to ‘make-your-own chocolate bar’. “We’re preparing to launch our new website which will feature detailed schedules for tours and other events open to the public, and the ability for folks to make online reservations. The new website will go live within the next few weeks with updated information as new events are confirmed.” 

Fascia’s Chocolates will remain open in their current location at 2066 Thomaston Avenue in Waterbury through August. Summer hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays and until 6 p.m. on Thursdays, and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturdays. Fascia’s is closed Sundays and Mondays.

Fascia’s new factory is scheduled to open in mid-September with an official Grand Opening Celebration Weekend planned for October 12, 13, 14. Festivities will include “behind-the-scenes” factory tours plus Grand Opening festivities in October will also include free samples of Fascia’s Chocolates, Fascia’s gelatos and sorbets. Raffle prizes will be also be awarded each day.

Fascia’s factory tours are priced at $5/person, and $10/person for the unique make-your-own-chocolate-bar tours. Grand Opening tours will be scheduled between 12 noon and 6:00 P.M. each day. Reservations are not needed but highly recommended.

For reservations and more information, contact Fascia’s Chocolates at 203-753-0515 or visit www.fasciaschocolates.com.

                                                                                               

Make Your Own Chocolate Bar Tours at Fascia's Chocolates' New Waterbury Site

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