Friday, December 9, 2011

Chocolate Dipping In A Real Chocolate Factory

Boxes for chocolates, lined up, row after
row, waiting to be filled with hand-dipped
fresh chocolates for Christmas.

Many wonderful varieties, creams, toffees,
caramels, truffles, each one fabulously

That's what you will find in this little 
family owned and run candy shop in
Salt Lake City, Utah
at 1479 S. Main Street.

Condie's Candies - hand-dipped since 1924
is a seasonal business that is in it's fourth generation.
It was first started by George Charles Phillipps who
specialized in European caramels and roasting nuts.

(One little interesting fact is that Dad is a first cousin
to Thomas S. Monson, President of the Church 
of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day-Saints and he
orders chocolates from them every year!)

Besides the smell of chocolate that greets you as you
enter, they have fun little sayings about chocolate
upstairs in the store part.  I love this one!

The breakfast quote needs to hand in my kitchen!

Downstairs is where the production is done.

This bevy of beauties are three sisters and
one sister-in-law that are busy little elves
at this time of year creating centers, dipping,
boxing and wrapping nearly round the clock
to meet the Christmas demand.

From left to right we have Pam (their sister-in-law), 
Shelly, Nanette and Karen.
They are proof that eating tons of chocolate
keeps you thin and beautiful!

First we toured everything.  This is
the yummiest place - the packing 

Then they were kind enough even at this super 
busy time of year to open up their
shop and let an amateur like me try a hand at
professional dipping!

Pulling my hair back and donning the 
black apron that everyone wears, I dive in.
(Don't be afraid to get a little dirty when you 
dip chocolate.  It is so smooth and silky, it
feels wonderful!)

Geri, the matriarch and owner 
(with her husband Phil)
 just turned
80 and still dips - and she
is a fast professional - a quick 
flick of the wrist 
and a touch to the paper, then
a quick initial written in chocolate to identify
the variety and she is at it again.

I have been dipping for 30 years and 
I felt like a total klutz next to her.

(But notice the pan of dipped centers
by my side - I slowly dipped all of those!)

Aunt Linda specializes in the nuts and toffees
filling tray after tray of wonderful chocolates.
She is very fast too.

Condies has had its ups and downs.  About 15
years ago they had a fire and the fireman was
sent in to rescue the original hand written
recipes (pictured above with
charred edges).  He found the recipe book 
floating in the water, soaking wet.  They pulled
the recipe book apart.  There were no recipes
on the pages anymore, but as they dried the
words reappeared.  You wouldn't believe it,
but these are still the only copies available.
Hopefully someone will get them written down
on a computer so they won't be nearly lost again.

All of the original equipment survived the fire and
was transported to a new building.  On the left is
one of their copper cooking kettles and the burner.
On the right is an old piece of equipment that cuts
the 10 pound blocks of chocolate.

They use Guittard chocolate which is put into vats
in the middle of the table to melt and to stay warm.
There are gas burners underneath each vat that melt
the chocolate and keep them warm.

The dipping process begins by Karen
scooping up the warm chocolate 
marble slabs to warm up the marble and to
cool down the chocolate.  Dipping chocolate
needs to be tempered, or brought up to melting
point and then brought back down to around 90
degrees so that it will create the wonderful 
shiny and crisp coating that we expect from
fine chocolates.
As the chocolate cools additional
warm chocolate is scooped out and
added to keep the chocolate at a
perfect temperature.  It was a great
way to dip.

There are two dipping stations on the
side of each of 3 vats of chocolate.

I had never dipped on marble before.  That went
well, but try to write a cursive L (for lemon creams)
backwards and from bottom to top.  Only a few
of mine had recognizable Ls! 
 (They will use them
for seconds - to give visitors!)

We were told that no one has ever been 
allowed to come and dip on the factory 
floor before.  My good friends Wally and
Annette are relatives and Wally got me 
the invitation. I felt so honored.  Our
good friend Rachel (in the pink) also got
to come along and give chocolate dipping
a try.

Wally and Annette's twin daughters Grace and
Esther love to come and work at Condies and
want to start learning to dip.

They usually spend most of their time in
the boxing room (sampling as they go along!)
Hey - that is half the fun of working in a chocolate
factory - you get to sample.

Meanwhile there is always something 
cooking in the kitchen.  Nanette is the cook.
She has all of the recipes in her head 
(or mostly she says.)

There are three
main ingredients in the kitchen - 
butter, cream and sugar!  
No wonder every single
variety was absolutely delicious.
I LOVE chocolate and love to try
different chocolates everywhere I go.  With
every manufacturer of chocolates, I like some
varieties and some I dislike.  You might say I am
 a bit of a chocolate snob. 
 I can honestly say
I love every flavor they have (and it seems like we
got to try most of them! Plus I bought a 2 lb. box 
and have been snacking on them.)

Bubbling hot toffee is poured on
the cooling table.

One of my favorite things was getting to
see all of the specialty equipment 
they have, like this special roller that scores
the toffee to make breaking into pieces

That is a huge batch of toffee,
ready to be dipped.

This is one of the greatest little machines.
The hot fondant (for cream centers) is
poured into this machine that was patented
in 1901.  Cool water fills the chamber to
quickly cool the fondant.  After about 
an hour, when the fondant is cooled, the
machine begins to stir it.  

They wanted to know if I made my own
cream centers at home.  I said yes and they
wanted to know how long I had to stir it.
I told them it was usually 40 minutes to
an hour.  Sure enough, that is how long
their machine stirs it.  This would be
amazing, but one batch makes enough
centers to fill 4 cardboard boxes - a bit more
than I could use.

From when the door first opened and the incredible
smell of chocolate rushed out
into the open air
to washing the chocolate off our hands and
carrying our hand-dipped and hand-boxed
chocolates out to the car, it was an
incredible experience
and opportunity.

Thank you to all of my dear new
at Condies.

You can order Condie's chocolates
online at

It was such a wonderful experience,
quite different from my home dipping.
To see my post on
and to see how I dip at home and my little elf who got into
the candy dipping from last year,
 click the above.

These are some of the varieties I usually make.  
We just started making centers this week.

I will be posting this with 


Chocolat - French for Chocolate. I adored chocolate from a young age when I had to sneak in the cupboard to find where my mother had hidden the Nestle's Chocolate Chips. Having read about the famous chocolat shoppes in Paris, when I finally got there I was determined to try a chocolate from every Paris shoppe. I invite you to share my adventures in creating, in travel, and in life.


  1. I loved this post!! Great photos and information. Next time I am in Salt Lake I am going to visit it!

  2. That looks like so much fun...and yummy too! Thank you for sharing this experience with us. I bet your chocolates taste just as good!


  3. Jackie, this post had me smiling - first, I love the name of the place, and I would be like Lucy if I worked there. Forget about it - dangerous for me. I loved the photo of the antique pages, Feb. 9th, 1924, was my Mom's First birthday. Now I am off to visit their online store. xo

  4. Wow, this looks like so much fun! Happy holidays!

  5. what a wonderful recounting of your trip to make chocolate! Thank you and Condie's for sharing!! anne

  6. What a wonderful trip and thank you for sharing it with us. Looks like a truly fantastic place!

  7. Wow, what a fantastic experience this must have been! Make a cursive L backwards and from bottom to top?...that would be quite a fete!
    Thanks for sharing this fun post, Jacqueline.

  8. Love this post. Do you use your KitchenAid mixer when making the creams or do you stir them by hand? I would love to see one of your recipes for chocolates with cream centers!

  9. I've had these delicious chocolates before. What a fun experience and tour you've shared here Jackie. Now I'm dreaming of some warm chocolate!

  10. Wowwwww.....sitting here with open mouth....speechless.....thanks for sharing with us.......delicious !!!

  11. What an interesting post, Jacqueline. So enjoyed every detail! Now I think I need to go find a bite of chocolate.

  12. They look wonderful...but no hair nets or food prep gloves? How do they get away with that?

  13. Oh what a fun day that must have been -- I might have been like Augustus Gloop and found myself swimming in the chocolate and lapping it up! I guess they are so slim because they are around chocolate all the time...If not Augustus Gloop, then Lucy and Ethel trying to wrap the chocolates. Yum! Joni

  14. The aroma alone would have made me gain weight. Who could resist sampling everything? No wonder they don't usually allow other people to help! What a fun day you must have had. You inspired me - I had some (a lot of) chocolate last night!

  15. The joy. The pure joy of this magnificent gift from God to us to savor and raise up our sticky and chocolate covered hands to say, AMEN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Oh dear, someone better WRITE THOSE RECIPES DOWN OR PUT THEM INTO THE COMPUTER TO SAVE THEM! How special is this tribute to the NECTAR OF THE GODS!!!! My ancestors (the Mayas and Aztecs) knew this to be true!!!!!!

    LOVELY POST DEAREST and I so love your idea of taking time to just SIT in front of the fire. Have a magnificent day!!! Anita

  16. Wow how fun was that! What a treat to be able to do that! It brought up a memory for me- my grandmother worked at Sanders Candy in Detroit when she was a young woman- probably around 1917 or 1918 roughly when she worked there. She was a hand dipper!! I swear I can smell the chocolate oozing through my computer from this post!!

  17. We lived in the same ward as Gary Guittard,his mother, and his brother. Gary is the only one still alive but I loved their family and their chocolate. I dip with it now. Your chocolates are beautiful. It's a real art. P.S. You must not eat them (you look so good!)

  18. Oh no, I eat plenty of them. My daughter and I both say that we don't gain any weight during the holidays because we are just eating chocolate! It must do something for the system!

  19. What a delicious experience and so cool about Pres. Monson. Seeing all that chocolate reminds me of I Love Lucy.

  20. I bet it smelled marvelous there! This looks amazing! What beautiful work! I wanted to share and to thank you. I used a number of your recipes for our Christmas Party this weekend! They were a terrific hit.

    God Bless,
    A Delightsome Life

  21. What a wonderful AND delicious experience! There is certainly an art to what they do there.

  22. Brings back "sweet" memories..I used to do all the mirobiology for Cadbury South Africa and got to taste daily! How I miss it seeing these photos.
    Have a happy festive week!

  23. What a great post!!!! I know you had a fun day playing in so much chocolate. Everything looks delicious and so beautiful.

    Katherine S.

  24. This was an amazing post! I don't think that I would have been able to control myself with all that delicious chocolate!

    Looks like you had a great time!

  25. You looked right at home, you veteran chocolate dipper, you:) What a special experience, Jacqueline! Love Pres. Monson's family connection and the fun chocolate signs:)

  26. I felt like I got to tour with you...except I'm still craving some chocolate! =) I bet you had so much fun! I would so be sampling all the while!

  27. Amazing! I have to say that every time I think of chocolate factories I think of the I Love Lucy episode with the conveyor belt speeding up and Lucy stuffing chocolate in her mouth to keep up!
    I know you didn't do that! :)


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