A tour of the Kilwins Chocolate Kitchen is a "must see" on your next visit to northern Michigan. Tours run Monday-Friday from 10:00am–4:00pm on the half hour and include a comprehensive review of how we make our delicious Tuttles, Truffles, Fine Chocolates, Caramel, Corns, Brittles, and other confections. Here are the highlights you will see when you take the tour and, of course, there are free samples at the end of each tour.
The Kilwins family is made up of over 80 owner operators with stores in 18 states and our team here at our kitchen. Our goal is to provide you with the best Chocolates, Ice Cream and a great sensory experience every time you visit a Kilwins store.
1947 to Today
When they opened for business in 1947, Don and Katy Kilwins' desire was simple – to make the very best products that they possibly could. Today, we continue this American success story with Kilwins tradition of producing the highest quality Chocolates, Original Recipe Ice Creams and other confections, combined with people who care and strive to provide you with a super premium experience.
Kilwins combines the best of our heritage of quality products with modern business practices which are shared with and support our family of owner operators.
Kilwins has traditionally appealed to all the senses with our fresh hand-made Chocolates and other products made here in our kitchen. To make sure customers get the best products and experience we also make many products fresh in each store.
Original Recipe Ice Cream
Not only does Kilwins make great Chocolates and other confections, but we make great Original Recipe Ice Cream, too. Using our candy making know-how, we started making Original Recipe Ice Cream in 1985 in each store and developed our own original recipes which we still use today. Because of the volume of ice cream that our customers enjoy each year, today our Original Recipe Ice Cream is made for us still using our exact original recipes.
Our Process, Care and Quality
In our high temperature cooking area we use whatever equipment we think makes the best candy so you will see some of our heritage equipment as well as some newer equipment.
Kilwins controls all stages of making and delivering products. In order to ensure that our stores and you get the highest quality products possible, Kilwins has invested in special storage facilities and trucks that closely control temperature and humidity.
We continually strive to make the best Chocolates and confections. We use our original recipes and continue to develop and innovate new recipes and ideas over time.
Almost all products made in our cold room like our Almond Toffee Crunch have been made the same way by Kilwins for decades – hand-made. There are easier, quicker, and less expensive ways to make it, but we still hand-make these products because the quality is better.
We have been expertly molding and enrobing (coating) Chocolates with the same chocolate, equipment and processes since 1965. Over the years we’ve made some improvements and have added new chocolate milling equipment that allows us to create new and unique blends of chocolate.
A lot of effort and time goes into producing chocolate from cocoa beans - a long and complicated process which begins with expertly growing cocoa trees and ends with us expertly enrobing or molding high quality chocolate.
Our entire Kilwins team is proud of our hand-crafted heritage. We love our products and have fun making them for you. At the end of the enrobing line we give our products one last look before they are packaged, labeled and sent to our stores for you to enjoy.