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April 25, 2022

A Visit to Wilbur Chocolate

Wilbur Chocolate Co, an old brown brick building with people lined up outside on the sidewalk

When my kids were little, one of the treats reserved for special times was a

visit to Wilbur Chocolate in Lititz. As we drove into town, we could already smell the wonderful aroma of creamy, delicious chocolate filling the air.  Wilbur Buds and other incredible treats were manufactured right there at the factory on Main Street.

Wilbur Chocolate Co, an old brown brick building with people lined up outside on the sidewalk In case you don’t know, Wilbur Buds are chubby dollops of light or dark chocolate with a signature curly top. Sound familiar? Hershey developed its Kiss in 1902, a copycat of our melt-in-your-mouth, more-delicious nuggets that originated at Wilbur’s Philadelphia factory in 1894.

Although Wilbur’s moved to Lititz in the early 1900s, it wasn’t until 1972 that the Candy Americana Museum was created inside the factory. THIS was destination of the fantastic visit.  There were animated displays of old-time chocolate making, antique and vintage chocolate molds, shelves filled with chocolate paraphernalia and chocolate pots, and lots of early adverting posters, candy boxes, and toys.

Wilbur Chocolate Co, an old brown brick building with people lined up outside on the sidewalk Because the chocolate was made there, as we walked through the wonderful, crowded two-room museum, we could hear the clamor of the machinery in the background. You would think it couldn’t get any better, but it did. We could also watch the ladies behind the glass window wrap candies and create confections, all while sampling free Wilbur Buds!

But the real reason for going was to choose a treat.  Even before finishing our self-guided tour, the kids were already eying up the display of candies. They knew that I’d be carrying out a bag of Wilbur Buds, so they were free pick something just for themselves.  How to choose? Chocolate covered peanuts, licorice pipes, candy buttons, lollipops, caramels, chocolate coins, fudge, and so much, much more – the place was packed from floor to ceiling. We spent a lot of time looking.

Wilbur Chocolate Co, an old brown brick building with people lined up outside on the sidewalk Finally came my last call to choose something and head to the check-out, everyone happy and filled with chocolate samples. As I herded the kids out the door, bags of treats clutched in their hands, I heard a lot of thank-yous from my littles. The museum with the smell of chocolate, the displays, and the endless types of candies to drool over was all part of a wonderful day and a wonderful memory in the making.

The museum has closed, but a lovely little store has moved across the street from the former factory. You can still smell the delicious chocolate, still drool over the array of candies, and still go home with a bag of treats clutched in your hand. And don’t forget the Wilbur Buds!

Wilbur Chocolate is just short drive from accommodations at Olde Square Inn.

127 E Main St, Mount Joy, PA 17552, United States | P: (717) 653-4525nancy@oldesquareinn.com

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