A real life Charlie's Chocolate Factory

We’re off to Cologne again this September to launch 3 new products at Kind & Jugend, but sadly as it’s a trade show, there aren’t many kids to be found around this vast emporium displaying the latest in baby and child products.



So where can the kids be found in Cologne.



One safe bet would be to assume that many of them may be attracted to the Imhoff-Schokoladenmuseum. Guessed what that is? It’s the chocolate factory and museum which was initiated by one Hans Imhoff, who had a passion for making chocolate. Possibly inspired by the magic of Roald Dahl’s 1964 book “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory”, Imhoff purchased property to build his own chocolate museum in 1972.

Even though he faced many hurdles and challenges, he didn’t give up. With the help of his wife, rather than the infamous Oompa Loompas, Imhoff persisted and finally managed to purchase the current site of the museum and open it to the public in 1993.



Willy Wonka’s factory hosted very few children when it was re-opened, and most of them encountered terrible fates, but the Imhoff museum hosts 600,000 visitors a year, and as far as we know, Augustus Gloop hasn’t appeared in their chocolate fountains.



The Imhoff-Schokoladenmuseum, or the Cologne Chocolate Factory, however does have some similarities to Mr Willy Wonka’s awe inspiring centre of creativity, in the sense that you get a guided  tour of the museum and see the process of making chocolate. During the tour, you may also have the opportunity to make your own chocolate bar. Stay away from anything that might look like a work in progress and you may find that this factory is a lot less risky.



Every year, on September 13th, lovers of Roald Dahl take the day to celebrate his birth. He was not only the brilliant creator of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, but he was also the author of other beloved books that have been adapted to film such as Matilda, James and the Giant Peach, The BFG, The Giraffe, The Pelly and Me, and The Witches.

Many of these books, depict events that he encountered as a child. As a child, Dahl would go to the local sweet shop and admire the production and finished articles in the shop window.

In later life he was apparently a spy, and it is possible that he witnessed big companies sending spies to the smaller companies in attempts to put the smaller companies out of business.

He was so fascinated with chocolate, even to the point of becoming a chocolate historian and including chocolate and sweets in his books . Dahl took his love for chocolate, his experiences as a child, and his imagination and created the wonderful stories children still enjoy today. “Mummy, please can you put lickable wallpaper in my room?”



Matilda, features chocolate cake. lots of it. Dahl writes a scene in which greedy school boy, Bruce, is forced to eat a whole chocolate cake in front of the school because he was caught stealing a piece of the cake.



In The Witches, Bruno is tempted by witches and lured away with chocolate. Once he falls into their trap, he is turned into a mouse.



In The Giraffe, The Pelly and Me, Billy dreams that the old derelict ‘Grubber’ shop, will one day be transformed to its former sweet shop glory, and culminates in his efforts as manager of the window cleaning company and foiling a famous robber, are rewarded with a gift of ownership of this very same ‘Grubber’ filled with Gumtwizzlers, Fizzwinkles and Spitsizzlers rather than the rather more sober but very delicious Three Kings Gateau.



Although going back to school after a long summer break might seem daunting, or an affront to your leisure time, schools have very cleverly managed to create an imagination trip in the form of Roald Dahl Day early on in the school calendar to get kids motivated.


At DoddleBags, we love crafty projects, yummy food, and travelling, we also love sharing with our various charities that we support and have an environmental conscience, so we have a little suggestion.

If you can, try out the delectable chocolate hazelnut spread with not a trace of palm oil in sight, fill some DoddleBags and sell some to raise money in aid of Roald Dahl’s Marvellous Children’s Charity.



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