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Why SI - Chocolate Factory, Inc

April 29, 2024

Some are surprised to find a chocolate factory when traveling down Illinois Route 146 between Vienna and Golconda near Dixon Springs State Park. Locals in Southern Illinois know exactly where it is, being a destination for chocolatey goodness in the region since 1977. The idea to start the Chocolate Factory began in 1976, when Linda Meherg and two of her friends attended a candy making class. The friends enjoyed it so much, they started a business making chocolates originally in a camper until they purchased the land where the building still stands today. Eventually, it was Linda who took over the business, growing it over the years, including several additions to the building in 1992, 1999, and adding a large kitchen area in 2017.

Why Southern Illinois?

Linda Meherg was born and grew up in Southern Illinois, so starting a business here was her dream.

What do you think makes Southern Illinois a great place to live, work and do business?

Southern Illinois is such a beautiful place with the Shawnee National Forest and state parks in the area. The people are so friendly, and it is a great place to live and raise a family. Linda has said many times that she feels that God helped her to grow her business so she could offer jobs to people in her community.

What is something that surprises your guests?

When customers come in the Chocolate Factory for the first time, they are amazed at all the variety of chocolates that we have here. They are also very surprised to see all kinds of novelty items made from chocolate! Chocolate eggs, chocolate cell phones, animals, cars, tools, and much more. People are surprised that such a store can exist and be so busy in the middle of nowhere. It is exciting when we look at the guest book to see where people are from. We always have out-of-state visitors and occasionally some from other countries.

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