Satisfy your sweet tooth on Indiana's chocolate trail
Treats, No Tricks
Head for central east Indiana and you’ll find a two-county collaboration worthy of the most discerning sweet tooth. Winding through Richmond and Wayne counties, the Indiana Chocolate Trail features stops at 11 choco-centric locales, each waiting to give free samples to trail blazers. The catch? You must have your paperwork in order. Before beginning your trek, stop at Richmond’s Old National Road Welcome Center (see “Go” below) and collect your chocolate trail “passport.” With that in hand, you may embark on a self-guided afternoon of indulgence. Stops along the trail include:
- Abbott’s Candy Factory (48 E. Walnut St., Hagerstown; 877-801-1200, abbottscandy.com), where four generations of Abbotts have been handcrafting chocolates since 1890. You can sweeten your visit with factory tour; call for details.
- Building 125 (125 W. Main St., Cambridge City; 765-478-5000) is an antique store run by Norma Bertsch, whose husband happens to be a “jelly bean fanatic.” That means Norma is never without a stash of chocolate jellybeans to hand out to customers browsing Indiana’s “Antique Alley.”
- Ghyslain Chocolatier & Bistro (416 N. 10th St., Richmond; 765-966-3344) specializes in one-of-a-kind hand-painted confections. Ask to sample the chocolate butterfly, and you’ll get an edible creature with chocolate ganache and hazelnut puree on the inside, the wings painted with delicate swirls on the outside.
- The J & J Winery (3415 National Road W., Richmond; 765-965-9463, jjwinery.com) offers those on the trail a glass of locally-made raspberry-chocolate wine, created using a special form of chocolate sauce made just for use in wines.
- Olympian Candies (625 E. Main St., Richmond; 765-962-4989, olympiancandies.com) has been turning out sweet stuff since 1909, when Greek immigrant James Chagares went to work with his family making ice cream and hand-dipped candies. The original recipes are still in use, as is the small-batch philosophy. Hand-dipped specialties available for sampling include coconut spiders and malted crunch.
- Parker’s General Store (923 N. E Street, Richmond; 765-966-3614, 4parker.com/general_store.html) sells everything from paints to plumbing supplies. Head for the store’s old-fashioned soda fountain, where you’ll be treated to a scoop of chocolate ice cream.
- The Pour House Antiques & Sweets (109 W. Main St., Cambridge City; 765-478-4000, thepourhousesweets.com) offers visitors free samples of homemade fudge to munch on as they peruse the store’s antiques.
- The Warm Glow Candle Company (2131 N. Centerville Rd., Centerville; 765-855-2000, warmglow.com) is packed with every kind of candle you might need in your lifetime, including the small chocolate-scented candles given to Chocolate Trail visitors.
GO Indiana Chocolate Trail. Get a passport at the Old National Road Welcome Center, 5701 National Rd. E., Richmond; 800-828-8414, visitrichmond.org
Where to stay: The Hilltop Hide-A-Way (1088 Boston Township Line Rd., Richmond; 765-935-5752, hilltopcabin.com) is a two-bedroom log cabin with a full kitchen for $89 a night. The Whitewater Trailhead Gorge South (595 Test Rd., Richmond; 765-962-6038, brookhollowcreations.com) is also a two-bedroom cottage with a kitchen, located near the riverside trailhead for Whitewater Gorge Park South; the cottage rents for $85 a night, with a two-night minimum.
Where to eat: Erlene’s (831 E. Main St., Richmond; 795-488-0934) is open for lunch only, but its lunches—including chicken Waldorf salads and grilled steak sandwiches—are mighty tasty. At The Olde Richmond Inn (138 S. Fifth St., Richmond; 765-962-2247, oldrichmondinn.com), the Ecuadorean-born Chef Galo Molina specializes in flavorful twists on American standards.