Meandering Michigan Series: Coloma

A few weeks ago, on my way home from Chicago, I noticed a sign for The Chocolate Garden at the Coloma, Michigan Exit 39 off I-94. I remembered that my mom and I passed that exit on our way home from St. Joseph one time. We had the truffles from The Chocolate Garden before and wanted to stop, but we missed the exit and kept going.

I decided to stop. To my surprise, this exit was full of great little treasures. As I drove to the The Chocolate Garden, I passed two large fruit and vegetable stands, various orchards, and another chocolate shop, Vineyards Gourmet. I knew I'd be making a few more stops on my way back to the highway.

The Chocolate Garden
The Chocolate Garden sells truffles. AMAZING truffles. They have been featured on the Food Network as well as many other shows and sites. The truffles are sorted by the darks, the milks, and the whites. They offer 26 different flavors. And although they offer outstanding flavors like White Chocolate Strawberry, Sticky Bun, and Dark Chocolate Mint, I think my favorite is Milk Chocolate Carmel.

There is a tasting bar where you can pay to taste various truffles before you purchase. The owner, Tina, has been recognized for her charitable efforts. She has raised over $100,000 for cystic fibrosis. I highly recommend a visit, or at least, an online order!

Vineyards Gourmet
After leaving The Chocolate Garden, I stopped at Vineyards Gourmet , for more sweet treats! Vineyards offers handmade chocolates, fudges and specialty candies. You can see them making the candy when you walk in. For specialty candy you can find brittle, cake balls, turtles, barks, clusters, and haystacks. They also have a selection of chocolate covered fruit and nuts as well as sugar-free sweets, which I neglected to try on this visit. I left with some turtles, chocolate covered Oreos, cake balls, and chocolate with bacon in it for my nephew.

Next time I'll also bring home the haystacks, which are chocolate covered potato chips, and the chocolate dipped Nutter Butter Cookies. The prices are very reasonable, not as pricey as The Chocolate Garden. Most everything is priced by the weight. Unfortunately, Vineyards Gourmet doesn't offer online ordering, so you'll have to stop in!

Fruit Acres Farm Market
Before getting back on the highway, I stopped at a great fruit and vegetable stand, Fruit Acres Farm Market. They had free samples of most of the fruits and some of the veggies. I had a mini-plum/apricot cross-bread fruit that was so good. I love plums and nectarines, but I can never seem to tell when they are exactly ripe. I always eat them too early or wait too long. This little cross-bread fruit was perfect and just the right size to pop in your mouth rather than bite. In addition to this gem, I left with strawberries, cherries, peaches, and nectarines. If you are in the area, I highly suggest you stop here too!

I didn't make it to the any other places, but I'll be making another trip to Coloma and I'll be sure to share my other adventures.

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