Freelance writer with a BA double majoring in Literature and Australian History who loves finding random places of social or historical treasure whilst travelling around visiting festivals, markets and quaint cafes with my husband and baby
Published January 4th 2015
Is chocolate and coffee indulgence a sin? Not at this cafe
The Noosa Chocolate Factory at Westfield Garden City conjures up images of Willy Wonka and his melted chocolate rivers mixed with beautiful thoughts of Noosa beaches.
The real Noosa Chocolate Factory at Garden City doesn't quite meet that picture, but it is rustic and does bring a bit of Noosa's environmental lifestyle into it's cafe. This is not so much a factory as a coffee bar that sells chocolate. It is one of three of the Noosa Chocolate Factory's outlet chocolate and coffee shops (the other two are in Brisbane CBD). The factory itself is located in Noosa.
Everything sold here is made in Queensland with ingredients from Australian farms and is palm oil free.
Wooden crates filled with chocolate greet you along the back wall. There you can fill tubs with as much chocolate as you want. Just get your fill and take it to the register to get weighed and charged. They charge by the 100 grams, most of the chocolate is around $5.50 per 100 grams. The chocolate is as you would expect, extremely rich and tasty, it's impossible to have just one piece. Rocky Road, hot chocolates, chocolate coated macadamias and orange chocolate are some of the delights on offer, as well as some with reputed health benefits.
As their website says "The Noosa Chocolate factory specializes in high percentage cocoa dark chocolate. However, we also have an extensive milk and white chocolate range. All dark chocolate products are proudly 100% vegan (no animal products). All products are also 100% palm oil free. We also have an extensive gluten free and halal chocolate range.".
A word of warning though, if you get to the registers and find that you've filled your tub with more than you want when you find out the price, it's a protracted system to get the chocolate back out of your tub. Due to health and food safety restrictions, it must only be handled by a staff member and then placed into a sterile separate tray. Unfortunately, in busy periods if the employee deems this will take too long, they send you to the back of the line again which seems a little unfair when you've already lined up for 5 minutes. But there is a bright side, pre-packaged chocolate is also available, choose these packets and you'll know the price of what you're buying before you get to the counter.
The Noosa Chocolate Factory is the only working chocolate factory in Queensland. It was established in 2009.
But this place doesn't just sell chocolate, it sells coffee, and lots of it. I find myself to be somewhat fanatical about my coffee. It must be strong and smooth, and I'm quick to discount any coffee shop that doesn't meet my high coffee demands. The Noosa Chocolate Factory makes great coffee, there's no doubting it. They have a good variety of coffee styles and they all taste great. But alas, the wait for the coffee is unbearably long in busy periods. Think 10 minutes wait after you get served. And while there are chairs and tables in the coffee bar, they are high stools that are quite uncomfortable.
So the question is, how long would you wait for a great coffee? in my case I would wait for this coffee because it really is that good. Although you could nearly fall asleep waiting for it as the service is that slow in high peak periods.
I felt compelled to review the Noosa Chocolate Factory at Garden City because I believe fantastic coffee and chocolate such as this should be broadcast to the world. But you just have to recognise before you get there that the wait will be brutal if it's a high peak period.
This Noosa Chocolate Factory shop is located at Westfield Garden City (opposite T2 and RM Williams) and is open 8am to 5pm, 7 days a week. For details on the factory and the other outlet shops, see the Noosa Chocolate Factory website.