When Alex Clark first opened Bon Bon Bon in 2014, Detroit, Michigan, was in for a sweet treat. It was inside this intimate factory and storefront that chocolate connoisseurs were first welcomed to come together and experience not only delicious chocolate but also the fascinating French techniques that go into the making of these chocolates.

The techniques speak for themselves, as Bon Bon Bon aims to spend less time and effort on extrinsic things like packaging and marketing, and more time on perfecting their flavors. Clark soon came to find that customers were equally invested in both the artistry and execution behind the making of these delicious treats. After having been asked by customers on numerous occasions to go behind the scenes and get a firsthand look at the making of Bon chocolates, the shop decided to hold a handful of workshops strictly for its V.I.P customers. As word got out, demand grew as a result of customers’ growing fascination with the Bon making process.

Initially thought of as solely an educational experience, Clark soon came to realize that customers were having fun with the part art, part science aspect of making Bon chocolates. Inspired by her customers’ fascination, Clark formally introduced two workshops open to all customers: The Manufacturing Experience and Bon Bon Bon Making Workshop.

“We realized it was these things that we take for granted, and no longer see as captivating as they were when we first learned about them really are to people who have never experienced them,” says Clark.

For a lighter, more general overview of the Bon manufacturing process, customers can enjoy a tour of the behind the scenes action during the Manufacturing Experience. Here, you’ll get a brief overview of Bon Bon Bon’s history, paired with the opportunity to make and hand package your very own custom Bons to take home. Recommended to come with an appetite for chocolate, this experience is per- fect for anyone looking for a glimpse into what goes on beyond the Bon.

“Especially in Detroit, we have so many people who work in the manufacturing world. It’s where we are from which makes it cool to give people an opportunity to participate in that. At the end, it’s great to see how excited they get to take their products home,” says Clark.

For  those  who  are  looking  for  more  of a challenge, the Bon Bon Bon making Workshop allows you to design, create, and package your very own Bons. Guests master the unique techniques that go into the making of the chocolates, crafting fillings and following original Bon Bon Bon recipes to recreate some of their very own flavors. At the end, guests leave with a dozen delicious Bons to share (or not share) with friends and family.

Clark finds that guests and teams develop a newfound respect for each other after leaving these workshops. “It involves such a weird set of skills,” she says. “People can be thrown into a totally different situation and leave as a team feeling respectful of people's inherent talents, rather than the talents that they have to use in the workplace every day.”

Perfect for groups of up to 20 people, both workshops allow groups to customize their Bon flavors in advance, ensuring the most delicious experience possible.

Max’s South Seas Hideaway—a passion project for owners Mark Sellers, founder of HopCat, Martin Cate and Gecko, a renowned Hawaii-based Tiki and Polynesian artist—opened in October 2019. “Max’s [is] the largest-scale Tiki restaurant to open anywhere in the world in decades, and will put Grand Rapids on the map for ‘Tiki tourists’ and fans around the world,” says Cate.

 

Congratulations to the finalists for Michigan Meetings + Events Best of 2020 readers’ choice awards. We look forward to celebrating with each of you at the awards celebration on Thursday, May 28, at the Gem Theatre in Detroit.

*Connect with us on social media before, during and after the awards with the hashtag #MIBestof

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Thousands of people came together for the 1926 grand opening ceremony of the Masonic Temple; years later, the iconic building continues to stand as an invaluable piece of Detroit’s history. Complex, elegant and a story of its own, the 96-year-old building has recently undergone a multimillion-dollar renovation, expected to be complete by the end of the year.