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FRENCH SWITZERLAND “We just have a long tradition of making chocolate,” Nobs said.


“People eat a lot of it. I, as well.” People purchase a lot of chocolate in high production seasons


like Easter and Christmas. During these times, the factory is in production 24 hours a day and preparation starts months in advance of the holidays. Although most work can now be completed by machines, about 20 employees still sit in an assembly line when high production is in full swing. “T ose robots came in 1993,” Nobs said. “Before it was all done


by hand. About 20 or 30 women will work on the line because some of the Easter candy is still handmade. A lot of them are seasonal workers; a few of them are year round, but in a few years it’s going to be industrialized.”


If visitors wish to deem themselves true chocolate experts, cooking


classes are available at the factory. In the classes, an expert guides the students through the chocolate-making process. Guests can create their own recipes comprised of their favorite ingredients.


“We teach courses on a daily basis, usually two courses a day — one


in the morning and one in the aſt ernoon,” Nobs said. “Sometimes we have classes especially for kids and sometimes we have 600 people taking the class in one month. It’s good fun. You’re out of your work offi ce, and you get to put your hands in chocolate.” Other options are available if cooking in the kitchen on vacation


doesn’t sound tempting. T e Aſt er the Rain Urban Day Spa in Geneva off ers chocolate treatments including chocolate body wraps, chocolate baths and cocoa butter massages. For the massage, two beds sit adjacent to one another in a dimly


lit room. T is is oſt en referred to as a couple’s treatment, as two are invited to receive a cocoa butter massage at the same time. Venturing on to the chocolate bath, guests are taken to a room where the walls are dark red, numerous candles are lit and on a tray beside the whirlpool bath sits a bowl of chocolates, a bowl of whipped cream and a pot of hot tea. In the whirlpool bath is melted chocolate ready for a couple to soak in for the next thirty minutes — with or without bubbles.


Children can enjoy their own chocolate spa day, too.


T ey can indulge in a strawberry milkshake bath and enjoy the decorations throughout the spa of milk chocolate and marshmallows. Stools are even put in the locker rooms so they can reach. “One aſt ernoon per month we close the spa off to other


clients and only the kids come,” said Isabelle Nordmann, founder of Aſt er the Rain Urban Day Spa. “We had to extend the hours because we had so much demand.” Nordmann, a mother herself, said her child enjoyed


visiting the spa so much she decided to create the entire day for children. She noted the chocolate treatments are the second-best seller of all available options. “T ere are only so many things you can do with real


chocolate,” Nordmann said. “People say that chocolate is full of endorphins, which is the hormone of happiness. More than anything else, the smell of the chocolate, from what I’ve seen, [will] put people in a good mood.”


Above: An all-chocolate replica of the Maison Cailler factory can be found in the demonstration kitchen. Left: One of the many chefs in the Cailler factory works on chocolate creations for the tasting room.


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