The Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory stores that you find in malls and on main streets across the United States and Canada got started in Durango, at the store still operating near the depot for the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad.
This store, like others in the chain, features up to 100 chocolates and confections on display for most of the year, with up to 100 more for key holidays. Ask for a free sample.
Visitors also may see Granny Smith apples being dipped into caramel made in a hand-forged copper kettle on a gas-fired stove and fudge being formed by hand into a 22-pound loaf on a 500-pound marble slab and then sliced into serving-size pieces. About 40 percent of the candy sold at a typical store was made on the premises, including more than 15 varieties of fudge.
The company’s signature piece is the Bear, which comes in the shape of a bear paw and is made of caramel and nuts coated in chocolate.
The company was the brainchild of Frank Crail, who moved to Durango to raise his seven kids in a small town and chose a chocolate shop over a car wash for his business back in 1981. He remains the company’s chairman, president, and CEO. The company went public in 1985 and is listed on the Nasdaq stock exchange.
The company also has a 53,000-square-foot factory on the outskirts of Durango that makes 300 chocolates and confections, using proprietary recipes developed primarily by its master candy maker. The company makes as many as 100 additional items for the Christmas, Easter and Valentine’s Day holidays.
Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory
561 Main Avenue
Durango, CO 81301