Chocolate? An entire trail of chocolate? Absolutely I must do that. And so it was. During our trip to Richmond, Indiana, we indulged in not only chocolate candy, but also chocolate gelato, chocolate cake, even chocolate cheese! The Chocolate Trail includes twelve stops throughout Wayne County, each offering a chocolate sample. And the best thing about it? It’s free! Another four stops offer a complimentary sample with purchase. With Chocolate Trail passports in hand, we made it to eight trail stops during our three days in Richmond.
The Sidewalk Café
Our first stop, The Sidewalk Café in Hagerstown, is half café and half Christmas shop. The café serves sandwiches on artisan breads and use their own sauces. The Polynesian Grill Chicken salad with wild raspberry dressing sounded good. But we were here only for dessert, since we had already eaten lunch. Given the size of our Chocolate Sinful Delight molten chocolate cake sample, served with a scoop of ice cream, I can only imagine the full portion size.
We walked the couple of blocks from The Sidewalk Café to Abbott’s Candies, a Hagerstown staple since 1890. The shop moved a few times over the years and is now located in a former Presbyterian church.
Customers can watch some of the candy making process from the “porch” inside the shop. Unfortunately, the candy makers were finished for the day by the time we got there. Only a pan of freshly made caramel was sitting out, ready to be cut the next morning. Caramels are Abbott’s Candies’ specialty.
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Although we didn’t see candy being made, we did get to peek at the chocolate enrobing machine. The chocolates run through a couple of chocolate showers before going through an air-conditioned tunnel and out the other end, where workers take them off and box them. I could picture Lucy and Ethyl in the famous I Love Lucy episode.
Our Chocolate Trail sample at Abbott’s Candies, dark chocolate covered sea salt caramel, practically melted in the mouth.
Warm Glow Candles Company Store
Ready for a break from chocolate (Did I really say that?), our next sample on the trail was inedible chocolate. The Warm Glow Candles Company Store in Centerville offers a chocolate-scented votive candle. The store is huge—11,000 square feet of candles and candle-related gift items. I spent my time in the store smelling all the different scents. The web site lists 76 scents. I don’t know if they had all of those in the company store, but there were a lot. Scents run the gamut from flowery, like Lilac Blossom and Honeysuckle, to some you may be tempted to taste, like Berry Sangria and Gingerbread Cookie.
Outside the store the world’s largest candle presents a photo op for any roadside attraction lover.
Galo’s Italian Grill
We ate dinner that evening at Galo’s Italian Grill in Richmond. Following a delicious spaghetti and Italian meatballs meal for me, tilapia for my husband, and ravioli for Nancy Sartain (Leisure Market Manager with Visit Richmond Indiana), Nancy pointed out that Galo’s is on the Chocolate Trail. Show your Chocolate Trail passport and get a complimentary serving of chocolate gelato. We certainly couldn’t pass up that up.
Fountain Acres Amish Market
The next morning, after an entire night to digest pasta, chocolate, and more chocolate, we visited the Fountain Acres Amish Market in Fountain City. I had been looking forward to this Amish market visit to stock up on 7-grain cereal, popcorn and candied ginger. But this was also a Chocolate Trail stop—for chocolate cheese.
I couldn’t imagine what chocolate cheese tasted like. It sounded weird to me. So I tasted it with apprehension and realized it isn’t weird at all. With a texture similar to cream cheese, the chocolate cheese tasted a lot like fudge, but not quite as sweet—delicious.
Olympian Candies is another Wayne County treasure that’s been around for over a century—since 1909. The Chagares family owned the shop for 90 years before selling to mother and daughter, Gail Bowman and Kim Mitchell. However, the new owners use the same candy recipes that Olympian Candies used since its start, including its specialty Greek creams and soft caramels. How can you be sure you’re eating an Olympian chocolate? Turn the chocolate over and look for the imprinted Olympian Candies name on the bottom.
Firehouse BBQ & Blues
Our second night in Richmond, we dined at Firehouse BBQ and Blues, located in a former fire station in Richmond’s historic Depot District. Visitors to Indiana voted Firehouse BBQ and Blues the #4 barbecue restaurant in the entire state. I went all out and ordered the Smokin’ Pig, smoked sausage stuffed with pulled pork, cheese, onion and sauce. And to top it off? A “sample” (read full scoop) of locally-made Smith Dairy Chocolate Ice Cream.
Ullery’s Homemade Ice Cream
After dinner we walked over to Ullery’s Homemade Ice Cream. The Ullerys started in business in 1993, working events with a concession trailer. For the past five years or so they operated a shop within other businesses, and in January 2017 co-owners Rod and Tammy Ullery opened their own shop. The Ullerys make their ice cream five gallons at a time using an antique engine and the old-fashioned salt-and-ice method.
Other Chocolate Trail stops
We still have more Chocolate Trail stops to visit—but only after I work off all the sweets I indulged in during this trip. There are still chocolate wine, chocolate rocks, chocolate tea, fudge, chocolate covered cherry jelly beans and more waiting to be sampled.
If you travel the Chocolate Trail
Before starting the chocolate trail, stop at the Old National Road Welcome Center in Richmond (I-70, exit 16A) to pick up your official Chocolate Passport. You must present the passport at each of the stops along the Chocolate Trail to get your free samples.
We stayed at the Seldom Scene Meadow Bed & Breakfast during our visit to Richmond/Wayne County. Check rates here
Disclosures: Visit Richmond Indiana hosted our visit to the area. However, any opinions expressed in this article are my own.
This article contains an affiliate link. If you book a hotel room through the “Check rates here” link above, I will receive a small commission at no additional cost to you.
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