Bitzel’s Chocolate is opening its doors to the public during a grand opening celebration on Wednesday, Jan. 17, taking guests of its state-of-the-art factory and educational experience on an immersive and informative “Journey of Chocolate.”

Bitzel’s Chocolate offers chef-crafted gourmet confections created by celebrity pastry chef Sabrina Coombs and an unparalleled Willy Wonka-style behind-the-scenes look at the production process “from bean to bar.”

The 7,000-square-foot factory, retail store and attraction is the vision of chocolatier and entrepreneur Ray Bitzel and his business partner Dave Rose.

“We want our guests to enjoy what we think will be the best chocolate they’ve ever tasted,” says Bitzel. “And we want them to see what makes it so special. To see how it’s made, how the cacao is harvested, fermented, dried, sorted, all the way to the packaging—to get the full chocolate experience.”

The facility’s main attraction, which Bitzel calls “the Glass Chocolate Factory,” is the “Journey of Chocolate,” a literal trail that guides visitors through an artificial cacao forest as they learn about the growing and harvesting of cacao from farmers in Ecuador and Uganda. As guests follow the trail, they witness the cutting-edge, automated production process firsthand, from fermentation, drying and sorting to bar molding, panning, spinning, enrobing and packaging.

The retail store showcases treats including chocolate bark, chocolate-covered fruits and nuts, ice cream-filled bonbons and truffles and molded chocolate products, all made from milk chocolate, dark chocolate, caramel chocolate and ruby chocolate, a unique confection made from ruby cacao.

Bitzel’s also features a “Chocolate Theater” for special events like chocolate-making classes, tastings and pairings, which also is available for private and corporate events.