A sprawling chocolate factory-cum-theme park is coming to the Netherlands – and happily for sweet-toothed kids and adults alike, you won’t need a Willy Wonka-style golden ticket to get inside.
The country’s most popular chocolate brand, Tony’s Chocolonely, recently released a rendering for the ‘candy complex’ it intends to build in Zaandam, a small city on the outskirts of Amsterdam. Taking inspiration from the otherworldly candy boats and Great Glass Elevator in Roald Dahl’s ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’, Tony’s Chocolonely Chocolate Circus will include a full-size roller coaster looping through its main building.
In the blueprint by Dutch architects SeARCH, the factory appears to comprise a converted red-brick warehouse, a red pavilion for the roller coaster, and a new-build factory space. Tony’s hopes the complex will be open by 2024 and says it will cost around €100 million (£89 million, $115 million, A$162 million) to build.
When it first announced plans for the factory back in 2018, the firm in a statement that it would offer ‘a total experience, where you can learn and experience everything about chocolate, the problems in the cocoa industry and what Tony’s Chocolonely does about it’. As part of its ‘recipe for slave-free cocoa’, Tony’s says it pays farmers a living wage and uses ‘bean tracker’ technology to ensure supply chains are 100 percent traceable.
The company added that it would relocate its main offices to the new site, and that there would also be a large shop and restaurant. If all goes to plan, the firm hopes to welcome some 500,000 visitors a year inside to sample its scrumdiddlyumptious goods. Sadly, its ethical stance means they’re unlikely to meet any Oompa-Loompas.