I love to travel and some time ago discovered I also love to write, combine this with my husband's photography and we get to share it all with you. Please visit us at www.facebook.com/brucevandersluisimages
Where do you think the bear is going this Christmas?
If you haven't already heard of Haigh's, then it is mightily unfair of me to bring this iconic chocolate maker to your attention. You see, once you have discovered Haigh's, you will never look at chocolate the same again.
I discovered Haigh's many years ago and well, since then Haigh's has been a massive part of my family's life. Haigh's features in every family gift giving and celebration and I have even been known to favour Haigh's over many other very Australian chocolate brands. Haigh's, of course, is our very own South Australian maker of quality chocolate.
Haigh's Teddy packed and ready to go. Photo courtesy of Bruce Vandersluis Images.
Haigh's was founded in 1915, with the opening of the very first store located at 34 King William Street, Adelaide. In 1917, the Haigh family built a home at Parkside South where they also built a small factory. This is where the Visitor's Centre now stands. In 1922, the Beehive Corner store opened and the company soon grew to six stores. By 1965, stores were opening outside of South Australia with the Collins Street, Melbourne store and now there is a total of 16 stores in four States and Territories. However, Haigh's greatness can reach you wherever you are in Australia. If you live in a location where Haigh's do not have a store, you can order online and they will carefully package your selection and deliver it to you.
Haigh's offers a wealth of varieties and caters for all needs with offerings which are egg, gluten or egg and gluten-free for those who still wish to indulge. There are loose chocolates and chocolate confectionery, bars, blocks and novelties. Who can resist the seasonal special varieties which are offered lovingly packaged to celebrate the occasion.
Haigh's stores are a delight and simply looking in the window with their amazing and often old-fashioned window displays is a treat. However, I find it very difficult to pass by without popping in to treat the family to something special and have been known to dive in and buy a small something just for the sample you are given.
Going into any Haigh's store is a treat, however, for something special, head over to the Visitors Centre at 154 Greenhill Road, Parkside. Free tours of the factory are available, where you will be shown how premium chocolate is made from cocoa beans sourced from sustainable plantations around the world. Tours are run Monday to Friday between 10 am and 4 pm and on Saturday between 10 am and 1.30 pm. Tours take around 20 minutes and bookings are essential to avoid disappointment. Bookings can be made by calling (08) 8372 7070 or making an enquiry at the website. A reduced tour is available for those with mobility issues as there are a small number of stairs to complete the tour.
While visiting any Haigh's store is a delight, come along to the Visitors Centre where all your favourites are available along with a range of chocolate seconds at discount prices. There are also a small amount of antiques here which are a joy to view. Store locations around Australia and trading hours are available at the website. Haigh's stores will be opening for extended trading hours over the festive period.
For further information about Haigh's, their history, chocolates, gifts, recipes and the Haigh's experience, please see the website. Remember, it might not be the Wonka factory but it comes darn close!