Feed your curiosity with a behind-the-scenes tour of one of Portland’s food factories. From freshly baked bread to artisan chocolates, these working facilities regularly welcome visitors to tour and taste. Most are free; all are located in the Portland Metro Area.
photo: Creo Chocolate
This bean-to-bar craft chocolate factory and café offers two sweet tours: an hour-long guided Make-a-Bar Tour and a two-hour-long interactive Chocolate 101 class. Expect lots of interactive experiences during both, from watching how chocolate is made to tasting freshly roasted cacao beans. On the second half of both tours you’ll create, design and package your very own chocolate bar to take home. Cost is $20-50, depending on the tour. You must sign up in advance online. Hairnets provided, closed-toe shoes required. Children 8 years or older are welcome on the Make-a-Bar tour.
122 NE Broadway
The 50-minute tour kicks off with a brief presentation on the Franz Family Bakeries, followed by a walking tour of the facility, which is the real highlight of the trip. Watch the giant mixer stir up enormous batches of dough and the cooling buns zooming around the building on a metal track. The tour ends with a snack as well as a special gift to take home. These free tours are offered from Labor Day until summer break in June and must be scheduled in advance. Only visitors aged seven or older can attend. Franz is a working bakery so there’s a strict dress code for visitors. Visit the website for more details.
340 NE 11th St.
photo: Carrie Uffindell
Bob’s Red Mill
Founded by Bob and Charlee Moore in 1978, this Milwaukie, Oregon-based stone mill (made popular world-wide by its healthy whole grain products) has grown into a 300,000 square foot facility. After a short video, see all the action from a set of viewing windows as one of Bob’s friendly guides shows you. Then snag a free sample on the way out. Afterwards, head to Bob’s Whole Grain Store and Visitors Center, located about two miles northwest of the factory, for lunch and/or baked goods. Tours are free and offered Mon.-Fri. at 10 a.m., except on major holidays, and run 60-75 minutes. Groups of 10 or more can arrange a private tour. All ages welcome.
13521 SE Pheasant Ct.