Such a sad story :(
Except for crabby parents worried about their kids' dental bills, what could possibly come between children and chocolate?
Step forward the U.S. Bioterrorism Act of 2002.
Thanks to stringent food safety regulations imposed by the Act after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, "choc and awe" public visits to the famous factory operated by Rogers' Chocolates are no more.
The Act applies to Rogers because the venerable company, by now a Canadian institution with its century-old store in downtown Victoria an official National Heritage Site, has a thriving mail-order business shipping individual orders of big fat chocolates to salivating customers in the United States.
Companies that export food to the United States are required to ensure there is no risk that anyone can tamper with their products, and who knows what a 10-year-old high on sugar might do.
"Our factory had school buses full of kids pulling up all the time. Sometimes seniors, too," Rogers' president Steve Parkhill said yesterday.
"They'd all been going through without the appropriate level of security. We found it just too onerous to take the measures we would have needed in order to comply with the regulations. So we stopped. It is sad, I grant you."
The company's decision ended years of magical mystery tours that had entranced Vancouver Island kids with the up-close view of melting, dripping and pouring of chocolate, not to mention the sweet aroma and fresh samples at the end.
All this to be taken with a grain of piquant salt!!!