The most popular Valentine’s Day gift has always been and will be chocolate. But how much do we really know about the production behind our favorite treat?
French Broad Chocolate Factory in Asheville, North Carolina wants to teach us all about this process. The exhibition of each step in creating chocolate demonstrates local manufacturing facilities through an entirely new lens - your favorite treat didn’t just magically appear, it took time, clear intention, and a whole lotta love.
Powered by Matterport Pro, French Broad Chocolate Factory gives us an intimate perspective into the process of making chocolate. Our virtual tour of the factory is guided by interviews with Co-Founder and CEO Jael Rattigan and various workers throughout the process. Through this interactive engagement, French Broad Chocolate Factory demonstrates their philosophy - making chocolate that is “sourced with integrity, crafted with intention, and served with gratitude.”
We connected with Jared Kay, CEO of Amplified Media Inc., to hear more about Matterport’s role in providing an immersive experience into chocolate making.
Q. What inspired the 3D capture of the French Broad Chocolate Factory?
Our video team was challenged to create a dynamic and immersive Student tour for a Virtual Career Day event with our local high schools to explore roles in manufacturing.
We partnered with our Economic Development Coalition to explore how we could creatively showcase local manufacturing facilities for our students during a live-stream event. We chose French Broad Chocolate Factory, as chocolate is in fact “manufactured”, and what better product to make than one you can actually eat! Right?
At several area hotspots during our Matterport tour, we decided to interview individual team members and discuss their role in the intricate chocolate-making process. This made for a truly immersive, engaging, and interactive experience for our student tour-takers.
Q. What are the must-sees you want visitors to explore, and why?
Our main goal for this tour was to be as interactive and engaging as possible, which is why we opted to conduct interviews throughout the tour, allowing for fun clickable moments in which you can hear from real people and feel a sense of real engagement.
Q. What’s the one thing you want visitors to take away after exploring the French Broad Chocolate Factory?
We really wanted to place our viewer inside the Chocolate Factory. To let them look around, explore and navigate the whole tour-like experience. Due to covid, there was, unfortunately, no opportunity to give in-person tours, so we found this the perfect way to showcase such a fascinating environment.
Q. What’s the story behind this wonderfully unique chocolate factory?
French Broad Chocolate Factory was created to make awesome chocolate, sourced with integrity, crafted with intention, and served with gratitude. The vision was to build more than just a production facility, but to create an experience; a place to learn about chocolate, to engage with the community, and to become connected to the people at the source of cacao. Since education is such a big part of the mission, it was wonderful having the ability to invite high school students in virtually - not only to experience the process of making chocolate but also to learn about a career in manufacturing.
Q. How were you inspired to embed videos into the Mattertags?
I think the idea of Matterport is pretty amazing, that you are able to immerse yourself into an environment and truly experience an adventure of your own. We really wanted to go one step further and create an educational, collaborative opportunity for viewers to connect with, and learn from the actual people working within the facility