Melba’s Chocolate Factory is in Woodside, South Australia just 15 minutes drive away from the Hahndorf village. It is a 44 km distance from the city of Adelaide at approximately 40-minutes drive by car. It is our first time to visit this part of the Adelaide Hills the other weekend. But what makes this road trip extra special is our tour in the factory which made me feel like a child again. Plus, it is one of a kind historic site to visit. Come and join me on this short tour.
Melba’s Chocolate Factory
‘Melbas’ got its name from the restaurant that the founders used to own. It is a ‘working’ tourism factory located in a heritage listed complex at 22 Henry St, Woodside in the Adelaide Hills. Historic because this area used to be Woodside Farmers Union’s factory which had closed in 1977. For 58 years since 1919, this site was famous worldwide for the cheese, butter, margarine and small goods produced by the South Australian farmers. However, this activity ceased in 1976.
Yet, after fourteen years of abandon and neglect, Melba’s took over the former cheese factory building in 1st of July 1990.
Meanwhile, visitors today find the old cheese factory transformed into a large emporium style chocolate and confectionery factory shop. Adjacent to it is the Woodside Cheese Wrights, an SA Cheese Association established in 2004 by Kris Lloyd – already a local artisan brand for speciality cheese. (Our review and visit here will be in my next post).
Melba’s Chocolate Factory
The entrance to the factory is awesome because of the fresh chocolate aroma!!!
The layout of the place is simple: All the chocolate products were made the centrepiece and six different rooms surround it. They are rooms where various manufacturing processes can be viewed.
Reading about the history of the place, made me imagine the correlation of these rooms to the old cheese factory’s interiors. Such that the Packing Room is originally used for waxing Edam Cheeses but is now where they wrap, label and prepare speciality items. The Chocolate Room used to be the cheese storage room.
The Panning Room now is where fruits and nuts are coated with chocolate to form into roundish chocs. However years ago this was a closed cheese storage room.
Toffee Room is currently where the manufacture of toffees are but formerly a place where cheese whey tanks were located.
So it is quite a delight to know these things for I can just imagine how busy this factory used to be back in its glorious days as a cheese factory. And how people’s lives have changed with the employment it has provided for almost six decades.
However, thank goodness to the ingenuity of Graeme and Joy Foristal (Melbas’ founders) for converting it to a chocolate factory instead. Its legacy turned sweet.
Melbas’ chocolates range from plain to chocolate coated fruits, nuts and sugarless treats.
There are still a number of old Australian favourites available such as Inch Licorice Block, Traffic Lights and Rocky Road.
Some gift baskets, specialities and souvenir items are for sale as well here. So, it is one tourist destination to check as a family or with friends when in South Australia.
Recently, Melba’s Chocolate Factory not only sells sweets and novelty products, it also has its own cafe. They serve Tea, Milk Shakes, Cold Drinks, Ice Cream, Cakes, Cookies and Savoury Snacks using some of their very own white and dark chocolates.
Overall, we are so happy not just from tasting various lollies. But for the experience of being transported to past decades of time where famous cheese products were made and for the practical knowledge gained on how artisan chocolates and sweets are produced.
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via Daily Post: Heritage
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