LOGAN — Sweet tooth fans of northern Utah, rejoice! Utah State University is opening a craft chocolate factory on its campus this July.
However, the factory — a first of its kind among the universities in Utah — isn’t just for chocolate lovers, it’s an educational experience for the school’s food science program, said Silvana Martini, a professor of nutrition and science at the university, in a news release.
Martini, who teaches a general science course on chocolate, said the factory will “facilitate research and outreach to the confectionary industry,” which includes a partnership with commercial chocolatiers in Utah and across the world.
Utah is a hub for artisan chocolatiers. It is home to nearly a dozen different craft chocolate companies, according to the Deseret News. Utah is also home to a dozen or so companies that were founded or are based in Utah.
“This will be the only chocolate factory at a university in the western United States, and people in the industry are excited about the opportunities for short courses and working with us to produce certain flavor profiles,” Martini added.
The new factory will be located in the restaurant area of the Aggie Blue Square complex, according to the university. The building will be a mix of public space and a laboratory. While the university expects it to open in mid-July, officials added an official grand opening is slated during the school’s fall semester.
In a statement, Dave Irish, manager of USU Creamery and Aggie Ice Cream, explained people will get a chance to see how chocolate goes from bean to bar.
Those at the factory will work in batches from one to 250 kilos (more than 500 pounds), according to the university, adding that cocoa beans used will be from “sustainably farmed operations that receive fair trade prices for their product.”
Aggie Creamery business manager Steve Shelton said the chocolate factory will produce chocolate used in Aggie Ice Cream, while large bars will be sold to candy makers and a café, which will be added at a later time, will sell chocolate confections, pastries, drinks and bars.