Chocolate, sweet, creamy, decadent chocolate. There is something intoxicating about chocolate. It cures what ails you and comforts you when you’re down. For some it shows their love for another: sweets for your sweet. I eat chocolate for many reasons, mainly because I love the taste. Like wine and lovers, good chocolate is hard to find. Though if you live in Raleigh, look no further! The Videri Chocolate Factory is here to save you, even if you don’t know it yet.
Many towns and cities in the south have unused or abandoned buildings withering away. Not only do you lose a lot of history that way, it also contributes to making the town less palatable and is not sustainable. Why not reuse, refurbish and repurpose existing buildings for something new, thereby preserving the past by breathing new life into these structures? Fortunately many southern towns are recognizing the significance of these old train stations, factories and warehouses and reutilizing them for other means in their revitalization projects. Lucky us!
Videri Chocolate Factory is located in one such place. In fact, it’s located in the old Raleigh Depot dating back to 1912. Sure the windows and doors are updated, as well as some other features, but the depot kept the integrity of the original building.
The large hunter green doors of the factory greet your eyes, while the enticing aroma of cacao greets your nose. Once you enter, the space is awash with light, highlighting the brick and beams left behind from the old depot. On one side of the factory, shelves upon shelves of chocolate are ready and waiting to go home with you. A glass enclosed case displays dazzling confections while glass cloches await you with samples. The staff are happy to answer any questions you may have about the fragrant chocolates.
On the other side of the factory is the café, serving up coffee and hot chocolate in a relaxing, chocolate infused setting. I visited the Friday before Valentine’s Day. The entrance was crowded a bit by a florist fashioning elegant floral bouquets to complement the delectable chocolates for your honey.
I skipped the café as I was going to The Pit for lunch. I did, however, tour the factory, inhaling the deep, rich chocolaty fragrance as I strolled. Videri Chocolate Factory is a bean-to-bar chocolatier. I’ll skip the science class on how to make chocolate, since they’ve already done that for you here. I do think it is worthy to note that the scientific name for the cacao tree is Theobroma cacao, which literally translates into “FOOD OF THE GODS.” Today, many mere mortals enjoy the taste and, let’s not forget, health benefits of chocolate. That’s right! Full of antioxidants and made from fruit, chocolate is practically a health food. At least that’s what I tell myself.
There is a difference between chocolate and good chocolate. I left the factory with a bar of dark milk chocolate, two bars of dark chocolate with sea salt, and a glittering bonbon six piece box filled with salted caramel, honey caramel, spicy cherry caramel, and raspberry ganache. I ate a bit of the dark milk chocolate bar as I unpacked the goody bag that evening. I’ve been savoring the bonbons for the last week. It is hard to pick a favorite! Each bonbon has a creamy, soft center that melts across your tongue. The raspberry, salted and honey caramel each were infused with a hint of raspberry, salt or honey – not overdone, but just right. The cherry pepper caramel was very cherry upon first taste but had a latent heat that perfectly complimented the sweet, cherry flavor.
Whether stopping by for coffee and chocolate or swinging in after a meal, Videri Chocolate will satisfy any chocolate craving you might have while giving you a much needed boost to your mood and some health benefits to boot!