24 April 2012 | Us: Las Vegas Cups: Tasmania
Ethel M's is a premium chocolate factory that happens to be only about 4 miles away from home. They offer free chocolate factory tours and have a first-class cactus botanical garden adjacent to the factory. Hmm...sounded like a winner to us. Becky and Mary were up for it, too; so off we went.
Ethel’s chocolate represents a proud heritage of chocolate making that started when the founder, Forrest Mars Sr., watched his mother, Ethel, create chocolate confections in their home during the early 1900's in Tacoma, Washington. You know Mars Candy...Mars bars, Snickers, Milky Way, M&M's and Skittles. In 1981, he "retired" to Henderson, Nevada and founded Ethel M Chocolates to honor his mother by creating a line of gourmet chocolates that reminded him of how he learned about quality chocolate making.
The cactus garden was a delight. Not all of the cacti were in bloom, but several other desert plants were and the colors were brilliant. We'd never seen so many cactus species in one place...seguaro, cholla, barrel, prickly pear, rabbit ear,cow's tongue...all perfect for this Mojave Desert climate.
The factory tour was short, but its saving grace was that it was air-conditioned in this 95F heat AND they gave free chocolate samples at the end.