Switzerland has hundreds of museums on an incredibly wide range of topics. But let’s be honest with ourselves for a moment; is there anything that can top a chocolate museum? If you answered “No, chocolate museums are the best!” to this question, you’re in luck! Switzerland has several museums devoted to Swiss chocolate, one of them is the Maison Cailler chocolate museum in Broc, Fribourg.
Together with Lindt and Frey, Cailler is one of the most famous chocolate brands in Switzerland. While Switzerland also is the founding nation of brands like Milka and Toblerone, the earlier mentioned brands are much more appreciated by the Swiss.
The early history of Cailler chocolate
The chocolate brand Cailler was founded in 1819 in the Swiss city of Vevey. This makes Cailler the oldest still existing chocolate brand in Switzerland. Originally, the founder François-Louis Cailler simply sold chocolate in a grocery store he owned at the time, but the chocolate business grew bigger and bigger. The chocolate is such a success that more factory space is needed to make enough chocolate to satisfy the demand.
After different partnerships with other chocolate manufacturers, the Cailler brand is merged with the (now world famous) Nestlé group in 1929.
About the Maison Cailler chocolate museum
Nowadays, Cailler manufactures its chocolate in the city of Broc, in the Gruyères region. Next to the factory stands a very popular chocolate museum where Cailler welcomes visitors from all over the world to teach them about chocolate.
Every visit to Maisson Cailler starts with an audiotour telling you about the history of chocolate and Cailler. The audiotour is available in French, German, English, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Arabic, Russian, Chinese, Japanese, Thai and Korean.
The audiotour brings you in small groups through different rooms, where a personal audio devices tells you a story, while the room brings the visual aspect of the tour.
Once the tour is over, you enter an exhibition telling you more of the contemporary art of chocolate making. Here you can listen to stories of people in different steps of the production chain. For example you listen to a story about harvesting the cocoa beans. Another character will teach you more about the work of the local farmer providing the dairy for the chocolate. The exhibition also allows you to smell key ingredients of the chocolate making process such as almonds, vanilla, and cacao.
Chocolate tasting time!
Moving on is where things get really interesting! In a big kitchen, a live chocolatier shows you the art of making chocolate figurines. Opposite of that, a small chocolate production facility shows you how the characteristics ‘Cailler Branche’ chocolates are manufactured. At the end of the production line, you get to taste a Cailler Branche and ask any questions.
After that, it’s already time for the final area of the tour. Here, you learn about the history of the Cailler products, such as Branche, Ambassador and Fémina. A long hallway is decorated with vintage chocolate wrappers and information about the different chocolate varieties offered over the years.
At the end of the hallway awaits chocolate heaven. Here, you can taste unlimited samples of many Cailler classics ánd new varieties. Make sure to taste them all! Remember however, the samples are for on-the-spot tasting, you can not bring them with you. The museum shop can help with with all the chocolate souvenirs you can wish for!
The museum shop
People sometimes say that the museum shop is the best part of a museum. While I’m not sure that is always true, it definitely is in this case! In the Maison Cailler museum shop you find virtually every possible Cailler product. Here, you can mix and match chocolate bars from a huge wall of chocolate, or fill your own praline box. The museum also has a small café where you can taste different chocolate drinks.
The museum boutique generally has good deals on chocolate compared to the Cailler prices in regular supermarkets. This means there is no excuse to not treat yourself to some Cailler cookies, chocolate bars or other sweet treats.
Practical information about Maison Cailler Chocolate museum
Maison Cailler is open year-round, seven days a week. In the summer months, the museum is open between 10 AM and 6 PM. During the winter season (November – March), the museum closes one hour earlier.
Tickets for the museum can be bought online and cost CHF 15 for adults. Children up to 16 years old can visit for free together with their parents. Buying tickets in advance is recommended and can be done on the Maison Cailler website.
[su_box title=”Practical information” style=”noise” box_color=”#9dc07f” title_color=”#ffffff” radius=”5″]- Maison Cailler Chocolate Museum is easily reachable by car and the museum has plenty of parking spots.
– The museum also has its own train station called Broc-Fabrique. Use the SBB website to find your trip and tickets.
Rue Jules Bellet 7
1636 Broc Switzerland
For more information on tickets, openings hours and more, visit the website[/su_box]