Chocolate makes you happy! And the Germans know it, consuming on average over 120 blocks a year. Most of the cocoa beans enter the country through Hamburg’s port, and those with a sweet tooth can witness these bitter beans being transformed into saccharine gold up close and personal at the Chocoversum by Hachez.
Every year, the facility in Hamburg’s historic center, right in the “Kontorhausviertel” UNESCO World Heritage Site, welcomes over 200,000 visitors, who accompany the cocoa on its exciting journey from farming, through all stages of production, to blocks of chocolate as part of a 90-minute tour. The creative staging of the individual exhibition areas allows the visitors to really immerse themselves in each section. For example, sometimes they find themselves in a rainforest, sometimes at the port and another time in a chocolate factory.
The Chocoversum is all about interacting and sampling. The pleasure trip starts directly behind the so-called “Chocoholic Checkpoint”, where visitors literally plunge into the world of chocolate – with wafer, which they dip into a 1.43-m-high flowing chocolate fountain. The exhibition’s centerpiece is the chocolate workshop, where each participant creates their own block of chocolate – and can thus take a very personal piece of the Chocoversum back home with them at the end.
The concept is based on a clear vision: a feeling of 100% happiness. “We fill the phrase ‘chocolate makes you happy’ with content and feeling. At the Chocoversum, visitors don’t buy a ticket to a museum, but rather to 90 minutes of fun and enjoyment. Great emphasis is thus placed on the interactive side of things,” says museum director Stephanie Schaub.
In addition to the chocolate tour, Chocoholics can also participate in various events. In addition to pralines and tasting seminars, the CHOCOVERSUM offers a Tango & Chocolate series for dancing enthusiasts or lets visitors explore the sweet tooth in the Speicherstadt and the Kontorhausviertel.
Anyone feeling an urge for some sweet treats on Sundays or public holidays is in luck, because the adjacent chocolate shop is open seven days a week, including public holidays, and can be visited without going into the museum. Apart from all manner of chocolate blocks and boxes, it also sells a variety of novelty items and cocoa-containing beauty products. The range spans 1100 products from over 60 different suppliers – which is enough to get any chocoholic’s heart racing.
The idea behind the Chocoversum was conceived by premium manufacturer Hachez, whose factors cannot be visited for hygiene reasons. “In my former role as managing director of Bremer Hachez Chocolade GmbH & Co. KG, I pursued the aim of making the legend of chocolate accessible to a wide audience, appealing to all their senses”, explains Wolf Kropp-Büttner, managing director of Hachez Chocoversum GmbH. Hachez not only incorporated historic objects, equipment, and machinery into the exhibition concept, but also experience and skills. Founded in 1890, and today still combining all production stages under one roof, Hachez clearly distinguishes itself from mass manufacturers, and these traditions and values are in turn reflected in the Chocoversum.
On 1 March 2016, the Chocoversum not only celebrated its 500,000th visitor, but also the opening of a completely reworked exhibition. The redesign was devised and implemented by Bremen-based Erlebniskontor GmbH, which is one of Europe’s leading recreation specialists when it comes to offering consultancy services and implementing themed interactive worlds, and whose achievements include renowned projects like the Klimahaus in Bremerhaven and the Universum in Bremen.
For more information on the Chocoversum and events, visit: https://www.chocoversum.de
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For more information or interview requests, please contact:
HACHEZ CHOCOVERSUM GmbH
Meßberg 1, 20095 Hamburg
Tel.: 040 – 41 91 230-11, Fax: 040 – 41 91 230-20
Email: UAlbrecht@chocoversum.de, Internet: www.chocoversum.de
Source Photos: © Die Hachez Chocoversum GmbH