‘Made in West Ohio’ factory tours offer visitors variety


By Christina Chalmers - cchalmers@dailyadvocate.com



DARKE COUNTY— The Darke County Visitors Bureau has teamed up with travel partners in Shelby, Miami, Auglaize, Mercer and Van Wert counties, partners of West Ohio Adventures, to develop a factory tour itinerary in west central Ohio for groups of all kind.

The itinerary, called Made In West Ohio, represents a collection of guided tours through a variety of venues that include an RV manufacturer, a craft beer brewery, a chocolatier, a jewelry store, a winery, a distillery, a kitchen appliance manufacturer and more. The itinerary provides information to visitors who could contact the businesses and set up tours during their trip to the area.

The regional tour itinerary was put together to entice visitors to visit west central Ohio instead of the bigger cities, said Matt Staugler, executive director of the Darke County Visitors Bureau. Staugler said the listing offers something for everyone, from large bus tours to families to individuals.

Among the stops are the tour is Airstream in Jackson Center. Previously recognized by FoxNews.com as one of the top 10 greatest factory tours in America, the Airstream factory tour offers a front row seat to witness these iconic travel trailers coming to life.

Similarly at the KitchenAid Experience in Greenville, visitors are treated to a behind-the-scenes look at a manufacturing process sure to give them a new appreciation for the way KitchenAid products are made. In addition, the KitchenAid demonstration kitchen hosts free cooking sessions, offering visitors the chance to see their appliances in action while learning a few tips and tricks of the culinary arts.

Included in the tour itinerary are stops at the Moeller Brew Barn in Maria Stein, Winery at Versailles, in Versailles and Indian Creek Distillery in New Carlisle. Each stop will enlighten guests with a glimpse into the world of craft beer, wine and whiskey making. At the conclusion of each tour, guests have the opportunity to enjoy samples.

At Allison’s Custom Jewelry in Sidney, Jon and Libby Allison offer an insightful view into the jewelry business from the science of geology to the artistry of crafting stunning keepsakes. Stops at Winans Chocolates & Coffees in Piqua and Ghyslain Chocolatier in Union City, Indiana, go behind the product display cases to show visitors how delicious candies, coffees and other beautiful desserts are made and decorated.

Additional stops include Braun Industries and Cool Machines and Universal Lettering Co., all in Van Wert, and Celina Tent. Braun Industries builds custom, handcrafted ambulances. Cool Machines is a designer and manufacturer of insulation-blowing equipment and accessories. At Universal Lettering Co., guests visit with highly skilled sewing and embroidery experts who have for many years been providing personalized jackets for groups including the Future Farmers of America organization. Celina Tent supplies tents for both the party rental industry as well as those organizations involved with disaster relief operations.

By Christina Chalmers

cchalmers@dailyadvocate.com