As most summer’s go, there are times when the kids and parents get restless towards the end right before school starts. When this happens, I am on the look out for something to do whether it’s a project or just go out and drive somewhere. This summer was no different and I came up with the idea of researching local food factories in North Carolina that are close to Moore County. We enjoyed visiting the Turkey Hill Ice Cream Factory when we lived in Virginia and also visited a pretzel factory.
I wanted to be able to go visit these food factories in the same day, watch how they made their products and be able to sample some of their treats. After researching “food factory tours in North Carolina” on Trip Advisor, I came across a few that were close and make it a day trip. As it happened, this food tour I dubbed the “Sweet Tooth Factory Tour” because we were going to try out some sweet concoctions and you will soon see why. I picked ones that were located around Winston-Salem which is about an hour and a half drive one way.
Of course, with any road trip with kids, you have to keep them entertained. So we decided to create a bingo game using things we thought we might see on the way out and back. Sure enough, it had the kids entertained the whole time. The only rule was that at least 2 people had to see what you saw in order to cross it off the bingo card. Here is the card we created on paper. There is also a free bingo card generator you can create using your own words which we created for another trip later.
Black Mountain Chocolate Factory
Our first destination was the Black Mountain Chocolate Factory in Winston-Salem, NC. We started our trip in Carthage, NC in the late morning and since I knew we would be coming up on lunch time when we arrived, we headed there first. After reading some of the reviews on Trip Advisor, I knew the dark chocolate may not be something the kids would like but thought we would give it a try. It was a small store smack in the middle of downtown Winston- Salem. The kids loved sampling the different chocolates but determined they were not fans of the dark chocolate. We walked towards the back of the store where they had large windows and signs explaining the process of making the chocolate. While there was not much activity at that time, there were cookies they just finished decorating that morning and you could taste some gelato and other chocolates as well.
The nice owner suggested that we should visit also the Mast General Store just down the street a few blocks since we were first time visitors. It was a nice walk downtown and the General Store was fantastic! It truly was a great place to look around and see all the old-fashioned candy, local craft like jewelry and so much more. It actually took up 2 floors! If you have the time, check out the General Store and relive the “olden days”.
Since it was lunchtime, we decided to pick a local place and there were many options. Some were more kid friendly than others and we ended up going for pizza at Twin City Pizza. They had a lunch special where a drink and a slice of pizza was $4 but the slice was HUGE! Take a look at the size of their slice which looked like 2 slices of NY style pizza. It filled the tray! We were stuffed afterwards and were happy to walk off part of lunch to get back to the car. Maybe next time we should try a sandwich place because were full and had to have room for our next stop, which was the Krispy Kreme Donut Factory.
Krispy Kreme Factory
We drove 10 minutes to the next location to where Krispy Kreme donuts were originally made. It looks like a normal Krispy Kreme store, but this one was the original location where it all started. We watched as they made the donuts, cooked them, plop onto a conveyor belt and travel along until the got doused with white glaze. They made at least 100 at a time and they were making chocolate cake glazed donuts when we came through. They again had huge windows where you could watch the donuts being made so you couldn’t walk back there. We of course had to buy a half dozen donuts and we probably should have saved them to take home, but we ended up eating them there. Again we were stuffed! Next stop was a cookie factory.
Mrs Hanes Moravian Cookie Factory
Now if you mention cookies, I can just imagine the smells that come out of a place that bakes lots of cookies. So when we showed up, we were not disappointed. They were making ginger cookies that day and unfortunately we showed up after 4pm on a Friday. They close at 5pm but were done making cookies that day, so I would recommend coming sooner so you can see the cookies made in action. They do have a tour that lasts about 45 minutes and you can see how the dough is rolled out BY HAND, the cookies are cut out BY HAND and then placed in large roll-in ovens. Each cookie baker is assigned their own cookie cutter shape so they know who made which cookie. They also keep track of who made the most cookies in a quarter as a way of keeping it a nice friendly competition among the bakers.
These are not your typical chocolate chip cookies. In fact they aren’t very thick either. Here is some history on how they got their name and you can read about their family history. They too had a sampling area of each of the 6 different cookies they make. My favorite was the lemon cookie, but other favorites were black walnut and butterscotch. They ship all over the country so you can send them to family and friends for the holidays too!
That concluded our Sweet Tooth Factory Tour and both kids and adults had a lot of fun trying out different things. I must say all the sugar was more than enough, so limiting it to 3 places was just right for the day. However, this article talks about 4 sweet tour places and I won’t lead you astray. There is one more place that we already visited last year and we didn’t go this time but would recommend going since it is so close to Moore County. That place is Southern Supreme Fruitcake & More in Bear Creek, NC.
Southern Supreme Fruitcake & More
Hands down this had the best sampling room in the area! Now I know what you are thinking…ewwww fruitcake?! How good can it be? Well, I’ve had the harshest critics of fruitcake who would never touch it with a 10-foot pole be amazed at how good it really is and bought 4 boxes of it to bring back home! But they don’t just have fruitcake. They have jams and jellies, chocolate bark and other sweet treats. I could just sit there in the sampling room and eat it all but I won’t. They do group tours so you can watch them make the fruitcake on the premises. Did I mention that it is only a 30 min drive from Carthage? A lot closer than going to Fayetteville or Raleigh!
So you can split up your sweet tooth tour or create your own just by doing your own search. The cool thing was that we go to try things that were made in North Carolina or started in North Carolina. Now when it comes time to send gifts to family and friends, you can send a piece of North Carolina to them with chocolates or cookies.