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I was reading the March issue of Where Chicago magazine and they had a side bar article on food-related Chicago-area factory tours. I, for one, enjoy factory tours. It's a hands on entertainment with free samples at the end. You just can't beat it for "a something different to do today" activity. I think it is time to make a list and discuss food related tours in the Chicago-land area.

What food related (factory) tours have you been on?

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Tours should not be the limited to factories. And Chicago Chocolate Tours tries to make good on this. Now I have not been or heard too much about this, but it sounds promising.

And for those that go in search of factory tours, check out the Factory Tours website. They encompass all the states of the union and are not limited to things food.

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Eli's Cheesecake World

6701 West Forest Preserve Drive (Chicago, IL 60634)

(773) 308-7000

The bakery tour is open Monday-Friday, by reservation. A walk-in tour without reservations is available on Monday-Friday at 1:00.

Long Grove Confectionery

333 Lexington Drive (Buffalo Grove, IL 60047)

(888) 459-3100

Monday-Thursday, from 9:00-1:00. Reservations and $2 admission are required.

Great American Popcorn Company

311 South Main Street (Galena, IL 61036)

(877) 777-5676

Nothing is mentioned on the their site, but Factory Tours suggests that you call in advance so as to get a specially made batch of caramel corn.

Jelly Belly Center

10100 Jelly Belly Lane (Pleasant Prairie, WI 53158)

(866) 868-7522

The warehouse tour is open Monday-Sunday from 9:00-4:00.

Goose Island Clybourn Brewery Tours

1800 North Clybourn (Chicago, IL 60614)

(312) 915-0071

At a cost $5 for a factory tour and a tasting of six beers, this is might be a nice way to spend a couple of hours on a weekend. Hours are not posted on their site and they recommend that you call ahead to check the schedule.

Sprecher Brewery

701 West Glendale Avenue (Glendale, WI 53209)

(414) 964-2739

This tour requires reservations and has a small admission fee, which I believe goes to children's charities. Year round, the factory and museum tour are offered on Fridays at 4:00 and Saturdays at 1:00, 2:00, and 3:00. During Memorial Day and Labor Day they make available certain weekdays as an option. best to check the site and call.

Lakefront Brewery

1872 North Commerce Street (Milwaukee, WI 53212)

(414) 372-8800

At $5 per entry, this sounds like another tour to check out while in the area of Milwaukee. They do not require reservations.

Intelligentsia Coffee

1850 West Fulton Street (Chicago, IL 60612)

(888) 945-9786 ext 63

The roasting works tour are being conducted twice daily, on the first Saturday on the month. There is an admission fee of $7, kids come in free.

Oberweis Dairy

951 Ice Cream Drive (North Aurora, IL 60542)

(630) 801-6100

This tour requires a minimum of 10 people and are held on Mondays and Wednesdays at 10:00. There is a nominal cost, but with the cup of their classic vanilla ice cream, I think that nullifies it.

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What food related (factory) tours have you been on?

Many years ago, before they moved production out of town, the Sara Lee factory used to be in Deerfield, a suburb north of Chicago. I remember touring it in the late 1970s. Eggs (contents only, no shells) were delivered by tanker truck (yes, just like the big tanker trucks that roll up to gas stations), and I remember seeing vats (big plastic tubs maybe 10-12 feet long) full of filling for their apple pie.

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Tours should not be the limited to factories. And Chicago Chocolate Tours tries to make good on this. Now I have not been or heard too much about this, but it sounds promising.

And for those that go in search of factory tours, check out the Factory Tours website. They encompass all the states of the union and are not limited to things food.

YT,

Happy B'Day...anyway, back to my youth I seem to remember Maurice Lenell (pinwheel cookies ) doing tours at their factory on Harlem

Maurice Lenell

Molto E

Eliot Wexler aka "Molto E"

MoltoE@restaurantnoca.com

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Tours should not be the limited to factories. And Chicago Chocolate Tours tries to make good on this. Now I have not been or heard too much about this, but it sounds promising.

And for those that go in search of factory tours, check out the Factory Tours website. They encompass all the states of the union and are not limited to things food.

YT,

Happy B'Day...anyway, back to my youth I seem to remember Maurice Lenell (pinwheel cookies ) doing tours at their factory on Harlem

Maurice Lenell

Molto E

Eliot

Thanx for the bDay wishes. It would be if the Maurice Lenell factory did tours, as I have always loved their products.

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The 2005 Heartland Gathering, in Ann Arbor, featured tours of Zingerman's Bakehouse and Zingerman's Creamery. It's worth your time, should you find yourself in Southeast Michigan. Here are a couple of pictures of the Bakehouse.

Two friends and I did a mini-tour of the northeast quadrant of the US after our junior year in college. Our stops included historic Williamsburg in Virginia, a dude ranch in West Virginia, a planetarium in Cleveland -- and the Kellogg factory in Battle Creek, MI. The highlight of the tour was, of course, meeting Tony the Tiger.

"There is no sincerer love than the love of food."  -George Bernard Shaw, Man and Superman, Act 1

 

Gene Weingarten, writing in the Washington Post about online news stories and the accompanying readers' comments: "I basically like 'comments,' though they can seem a little jarring: spit-flecked rants that are appended to a product that at least tries for a measure of objectivity and dignity. It's as though when you order a sirloin steak, it comes with a side of maggots."

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