Forget about the Golden Ticket; Houston has its very own Chocolate Factory!

One fantasy that draws kids and adults alike is the chance to go inside the wonder world of Willie Wonka’s Chocolate Factory. Unfortunately, that factory does not really exist. More so, the Golden Ticket to get in. However, Willie Wonka is not the only sweet maker in the world with a factory to delight the sugar-obsessed. Houston has one in the person of Carl Bartuch, owner of Kegg’s Candies, and you don’t need a Golden Ticket to get in, either.

Walking into the huge factory that makes everything from mints to candy corn is like walking into a movie set. Bartuch had redesigned the factory after he acquired it in 2004 to accommodate tours, so it is very much like the factory of Willie Wonka fame. However, Kegg’s Candies actually came before the story by Roald Dahl was published in 1964 or the first movie came out in 1971, as it started production in 1946. One wonders if Charlie and the Chocolate Factory was inspired when the Welsh-born author visited Houston. Probably not, but still…

There are some minor differences between the film and reality, however. There are no little men operating the machines, and no one is flattened, miniaturized, blown up, or sucked down a garbage chute. Bartuch is also not creepy looking like Willie Wonka, so that makes Keeg’s Candies all shades of better than the fictional Chocolate Factory.

Keeg’s Candies is open to group tours of 10 or more people from Mondays to Fridays except December, the first two weeks of February, and 10 days before Easter. You have to book at least one week in advance and pay ahead by credit card. Tour fees include a special treat from Keeg’s Candies and are $8.50 per person; kids 3 years old and younger get in for $5. The chocolate factory is located at 8168 A Westpark Drive.

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