A Visit to the Cailler Chocolate Factory in Gruyeres, Switzerland

(Last Updated On: November 10, 2017)

One of the top things to do in Gruyeres, the charming medieval town in Switzerland is a visit to the chocolate factory and indulge in some delectable chocolate tasting. La Maison Cailler Chocolate factory is one of the oldest chocolate factories in Switzerland founded by François-Louis Cailler in 1819 and the factory in Broc in Gruyeres is the only factory that manufactures the Cailler brand. Your visit to Switzerland will be incomplete without indulging in some delightful Cailler Swiss chocolate tasting.

The Chocolate factory at Broc in Gruyeres is a couple of hours train journey from Geneva and Zurich and less than an hour from the Swiss capital Bern. You can either take a bus or a train to Broc, the best option recommended is a train to the Broc-Fabrique station which is just 2 minutes walk from the factory.

Gruyeres Cailler Chocolate Factory Switzerland

One can also opt for a completely unique experience aboard the Chocolate train will runs from Montreux to Gruyeres through the stunning Swiss landscapes. There is some surprise chocolate and cheese treat onboard. The travel in the antique first class coaches includes a visit to the Cailler chocolate factory, the Gruyeres cheese factory and a bus to the Gruyere village and castle. The Chocolate trains run only from May to mid-October and on particular days of the week. More details here.

Cailler Chocolate Factory – Ticket and Opening Times

The factory is open daily from 10 am to 5 pm from April to October and closes early at 4 pm from November until March with the exception of Christmas and New Year’s Days. More details on open times and prices here.

Gruyeres Cailler Chocolate Factory Switzerland

Once you buy your tickets you are allocated a tour time which is the same for a group of 8-10 people. You need to collect your audio guide and wait inside the building for your turn. We visited during the offseason still had to wait for around 15 minutes, the waiting times are said to be as high as couple hours during the peak season so plan accordingly.

Chocolate Tour

History of Chocolate

The tour starts with the brief introduction and proceeds to a fascinating part of story narration – The Aztec cocoa ceremonies and the chocolate. The audio-visual storytelling narrates the history of Chocolate introduced into Europe and role of Switzerland in the Chocolate making. The narration is in English so if you prefer any other language you will need to tune in to the audio guide which comes with several different languages.

Gruyeres Cailler Chocolate Factory Switzerland

The story narration started through the dark forests of Mesoamerica where the Aztecs first tasted the chocolate way back in the 14th century as a bitter and spicy hot drink. The Aztecs are said to have received chocolate from the God of wisdom – Quetzalcoatl. The Aztecs then used the cocoa beans as currency and introduced chocolate to Spanish Conquistador Hernan Cortés who in turn introduced cocoa beans or the brown gold and the exotic chocolate drink to Spain.

Gruyeres Cailler Chocolate Factory Switzerland

In early 16th century, chocolate was introduced to France when Anna, Princess of Spain, married the French king Louis XIII and soon chocolate was popular through most part of Europe.

The concluding part of narration talked about François-Louis Cailler founding the chocolate factory, its history and about its merger with Nestle. The chocolate tour narrating the history of chocolate is one of its kind and definitely one of the fun things to do with kids.

Ingredients and Raw Materials

The tour ended into a room filled with raw materials and ingredients of chocolate for you to touch, feel and smell. There were jute bags filled with dried cocoa beans, boxes filled with roasted cocoa beans, almonds, hazelnuts and the yummilicious cocoa butter which is obtained from the roasted cocoa beans.

Gruyeres Cailler Chocolate Factory Switzerland

Gruyeres Cailler Chocolate Factory Switzerland

Towards the end of the tour before the tasting session was this depiction on how to find a rich chocolate – The color of chocolate should be appealing, then you need to smell the chocolate and sense the rich flavors, then touch the chocolate should not be very hard or soft but should be nutty and finally taste, well we doubt if anyone possess the patience to go through these details when loads of chocolates are waiting to melt into your senses.

Gruyeres Cailler Chocolate Factory Switzerland

From here you can actually walk past the machines behind the glass walls manufacturing the Cailler chocolates from melted chocolate to small chocolates coming out wrapped for you to taste.

The tour finally ends at the most awaited and irresistible part the ‘chocolate tasting’.

Unlimited Chocolate tasting – The favorite part of Tour

Switzerland is known as the land of fantasies and fairytales, can be it fancier than walking through a room filled with the heavenly aroma of fine ingredients past the live manufacturing of chocolates to the room with a wide assortment of decadent chocolates for unlimited tasting. Sounds like a fairytale indeed!

Gruyeres Cailler Chocolate Factory Switzerland

The chocolate tasting part is sure to titillate your taste buds with the aromas of fine cocoa, sweet Alpine milk, and some of the best ingredients.

WorkShop

The Cailler factory offers numerous chocolate making classes and workshops under the guidance of a Cailler chocolate maker. One can learn the art of tempering, conching, and ganache-making from expertise in German, English, French and  Italian languages.At the end of the classes you can take home some delicious handmade treats.

Gruyeres Cailler Chocolate Factory Switzerland

Multimedia Show

If you keen on learning more about the Cailler chocolate and its history you can attend a multimedia show at the end of the tour. (It’s better to visit at the end so that you don’t miss out on your tour start time). The show ends with a quiz where you can test your knowledge of chocolate and its history.

Factory Shop

There is a Cailler factory shop where you can buy from a wide choice of locally produced chocolates and some great souvenirs to take back as gifts. For best deals, it is recommended to head to the Nestle factory outlet close to the Broc train station.

Gruyeres Cailler Chocolate Factory Switzerland

Gruyeres Cailler Chocolate Factory Switzerland

Cailler Cafe

The cafe at the factory serves hot and cold chocolate drinks, sandwiches, desserts and light chocolaty treats.

This graceful statue completely made out of chocolate was on display in the cafe. This piece is said to be created out of 42 kg of Cailler dark chocolate for the finals of the ‘Chocolates Masters in Paris’ in October 2015 for the theme ‘Inspiration from Nature’.

Gruyeres Cailler Chocolate Factory Switzerland

Play Area

There is a play area at the entrance of the factory building for the kids. It was crowded when we visited but should help if your tour waiting time is too long.

Also Read: How to spend a day in the medieval town of Gruyeres.

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Many Thanks to La Gruyere Tourism for supporting our Gruyeres tour. The chocolate factory tour was complimentary. As always, all opinions are our own.

12 thoughts on “A Visit to the Cailler Chocolate Factory in Gruyeres, Switzerland

  • November 8, 2017 at 7:32 am
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    Oh yum this looks truly incredible! Thanks for sharing all the details, especially it’s location relevant to Bern, it seems easy to add to the itinerary now! I’d be especially keen to try my hand at one of the chocolate making workshops! And then eat my creations of course… 🙂

    Reply
    • mm
      November 9, 2017 at 9:11 am
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      Agree its super fun to try chocolate making and indulge on your own creations 🙂

      Reply
  • November 8, 2017 at 8:51 am
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    Did someone say chocolate? I’m listening! I’ve never been to Switzerland but I love the idea of the Chocolate train to see some of the Swiss mountains. Is it hop on, hop off? I’d love to do some hiking along the way and then visit the Chocolate Factory.

    Reply
    • mm
      November 9, 2017 at 8:49 am
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      Hey, Vanessa, it is not hop-on hop-off it does stop on the Gruyeres attractions like castle, village, and the cheese factory.

      Reply
  • November 8, 2017 at 1:00 pm
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    I’ve known Switzerland to home so many varieties of chocolate so I’m not surprise that Cailler Chocolate is that old. But a chocolate tasting tour is all I can do to say thank you to myself if I travel to Switzerland and I’d sure visit Callier Chocolate store. And I like the chocolate statue in the chocolate store.

    Reply
  • November 8, 2017 at 4:17 pm
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    I must say your post is so chocolaty with necessary details of tour to Cailler chocolate factory. I would love to take chocolate making classes as they are being done by real professionals. That 42kgs sculpted statue is looking delicious and beautiful.

    Reply
  • November 8, 2017 at 6:27 pm
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    Ooh la la, now is this is my kind of tour! You cannot go wrong with Swiss chocolate, and the ones here look delicious. It’s safe to say I’d also go for some more chocolate goodies at the cafe after too!

    Reply
  • November 9, 2017 at 5:31 am
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    Who wouldn’t want to visit a lovely chocolate factory. Definitely something that i would be interested in. Complete with history as well as craft. The workshop must be icing on the chocolate cake..

    Reply
  • November 9, 2017 at 6:30 am
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    Brings back memories from last summer when we were there. Really enjoyed the day visiting both the cheese factory and Cailler. The shop is just so tempting, but more than that I loved learning about the history of the chocolate and how it is now part of Nestle but still holds on to its heritage and origins. Great post and very detailed.

    Reply
  • November 9, 2017 at 1:06 pm
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    The most interesting part is chocolate making classes… inspite of several tries I have not been able to master it. The history is very interesting. And a train ride… almost unbelievably the best part of the visit. How much did you bring back home? 😉 🙂

    Reply
  • November 9, 2017 at 7:15 pm
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    Yum, yum, yum! The history looks very interesting, but I would argue that they should serve the chocolate tasting at the beginning–I would be sooo distracted waiting to eat chocolate while completing the rest of the visit lol. Looks like a great day, though!

    Reply
  • November 12, 2017 at 7:04 pm
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    Oooh, this sounds amazing! Now I feel the need to raid the cupboards for chocolate but I’m sure I won’t find anything as posh as Swiss chocolate!

    Reply

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