Fascia’s Chocolates, Inc., in celebration of their 50 successful years in business, has opened their new factory and retail store at 44 Chase River Road in Waterbury. “As sole owners of our newly-renovated 12,500 square feet of chocolate production space,” state Carmen Romeo, Fascia’s Chocolates President, “we have created an unprecedented opportunity in Connecticut for visitors to come for chocolate factory tours plus the opportunity to make-their-own-chocolate bars. Our new year-round, family-fun destination offers this very unique and uncommon hands-on opportunity for visitors to make-their-own chocolate bars with toppings. We have also introduced our very own gelatos made with authentic Italian ingredients and locally-sourced milk, plus sorbets, all as perfect complements to our high-quality gourmet chocolates.”
Founded by John and Helen Fascia in 1964, the family-owned Fascia’s Chocolates was named “Best Chocolates in Connecticut” by Connecticut magazine in 2012. John and Helen began making candy in their home with the help of their three daughters. Through the past 50 years, their daughters have helped their parents grow the business into the family’s full-time passion. Today, all the Fascia family members work in the factory, and in 2009, son-in-law Romeo joined as general manager.
“This is a truly a tremendously exciting time for us all,” stated Romeo. “Our chocolates have been a local favorite for five decades. Now our ambition now is to create much broader awareness of Fascia’s Chocolates, and the Waterbury region, as a destination for every season of each year. Fascia’s is now located immediately off Route 8 North at Exit 36, just two minutes from I-84. We have created a much-larger retail area and we’re delighted that Lynne’s Chocolate Cakery now has its own counter and Lynne’s popular freshly-baked cupcakes are now available in our retail store. John and Helen’s daughter, Lynne Mouanes, is the talented creator of baked treats that include fresh whipped crème cupcakes, truffle cupcakes, peanut butter cupcakes and many other cupcakes and baked goods that have become requested favorites with our Fascia’s customers.”
An outdoor patio with picnic tables is now situated immediately outside Fascia’s Chocolates’ new retail section that features a Mediterranean-style ambiance. The main entrance of Fascia’s Chocolate Factory features an introduction to a fascinating collection of previously-used chocolate-making molds, and memorabilia that include newspaper articles and photographs that span the past five decades of Fascia’s success.
Educating visitors on how chocolate is produced continues as a focus of Fascia’s new factory tours. Through a large window, visitors can view Fascia’s 3,500 square foot production room to observe a ‘behind-the-scenes’ look at every stage of hand-made gourmet chocolate production. “To enhance their observation,” explained Romeo, “we have live cameras looking onto the factory floor for ‘up-close’ viewings of production activities. Visitors can also view our video and photographic descriptions of the various stages of how chocolate products are produced. In addition to the engaging and educational features of the tour, visitors can also choose to make-your-own-chocolate-bar.”
Romeo explained that most chocolate factories do not allow visitors to make their own chocolate treats. “What we offer is unique in the U.S. northeast region, and we believe our distinctive offering will attract tourists from throughout the eastern United States. Visitors who choose to make their own chocolate bar plus select from a variety of toppings. Once their bar has cooled, they will place their bar into a wrapper, seal it, and put on their own seal ‘Made by Me at Fascia’s Chocolates’. Of course, samplings of Fascia’s many delicious products are also offered on all tours.
Fascia’s Chocolates is also very pleased to now offer their own, ‘truly authentic’ Italian gelato. “We are offering ‘The best of both worlds’ with equipment and flavorings imported from Italy plus locally-sourced milk to make our gelatos” stated Romeo. “Our gelato and sorbet flavorings come from the world-famous Fabbri family in Italy. Founded over 100 years ago, this third generation of the artisan entrepreneurs, much like the Fascia family, continues their decades-long heritage of producing the finest gelato ingredients. For a local touch, we are bringing in fresh milk from the well-known consortium of six Connecticut dairy farmers, The Farmer’s Cow in Lebanon. This group offers more than fresh, local milk. They also offer ice cream, all-natural eggs, apple cider, seasonal beverages and coffee to customers throughout Southern New England. Part of their mission is to show ‘Local is Fresh’ and Fascia’s gelato is made fresh every day.”
In their new factory, Fascia’s offers a 275 square foot room exclusively for private parties, group tour events, private workshops and special occasions, including their popular “Make Your Own Chocolate Pizza” for children’s birthday parties. “We also created a 600 square foot presentation room that overlooks the factory floor and accommodates up to 30 people. These two rooms provide ample space for larger corporate meetings, non-profit fundraisers and private celebrations for showers, birthdays, and year-round holiday gatherings.
Through the past 50 years, Fascia’s has expanded and grown. Our new location is considerably larger than our former space as we now have 12,500 square feet of space which allows us to accommodate more tours. It’s our hope that this new location will attract thousands of visitors to Fascia’s Chocolates and the surrounding region each year.”
GRAND OPENING FESTIVITIES OCT. 12, 13, 14:
A Grand Opening Celebration will be held October 12, 13, 14. Festivities will include “behind-the- scenes” factory tours plus free samples of Fascia’s Chocolates, Fascia’s gelatos and sorbets, and raffle prizes each day. Music and entertainment will be scheduled on both Saturday and Sunday. Grand Opening tours will be held between 12 noon and 6:00 p.m. Factory tours fees are $5/person, and $10/person for tour plus the opportunity to ‘make-your-own chocolate bar’. Reservations are not required, but are recommended.
Tours are currently being offered every Saturday at 12 noon, 2, 4 and 6 p.m. and Sundays 1 and 3 p.m. Fascia’s retail store is open year-round from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesdays through Thursdays; 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays; and 12 to 5 p.m. Sundays. The store and factory are closed Mondays except between Thanksgiving and Christmas.
For updated tour schedules, and to make online reservations, visit www.fasciaschocolates.com. For more information, and to make phone reservations, call 203-753-0515. Fascia’s also recommends ‘liking’ them on Facebook and following them on Twitter (#FasciasChoc) to take advantage of special discounts and coupons. Fascia’s also participates in AAA’s Partner program and offers special ‘partner’ rates.