Dorothy Gastel, founder of Dorothy's Candies

Wheeling Students visit Dorothy's


Fifth Grade Students from Wheeling Enjoy Dorothy’s Candies

 WHITE OAK -- Fifty fifth graders from Warwood Elementary School in Wheeling, WV visited Dorothy’s Candies.  The students are in the classes of teachers Amber Smith and Marci Hunley. The students had read Roald Dahl’s classic “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” as a school assignment, Smith said.  “They were so enthusiastic about the book,” she said, “We wanted them to be able to see a chocolate factory, but didn’t think we’d have a way to do that.”

 Smith said that as she had the idea for a tour, she did not know that in her classroom was someone who already had a “golden ticket.”  Cody Walsh, a fifth grader in her class, is the grandson of Martella and Robert Gastel. The Gastels are the owners of Dorothy’s Candies in White Oak, PA. Dorothy’s makes premium Swiss chocolates on the premises at 1228 Long Run Road.

 Smith explained, “I didn’t even know that Cody’s grandmother owned a chocolate factory. He never said a word about it. But when I assigned the class to write an essay about the book, he wrote about his grandmother’s chocolate factory. I was amazed!”

 At Dorothy’s the students had a complete tour including manufacturing room,  and saw chocolate artisans at work making fresh strawberries for sale on Administrative Professional Day. Each student also had a turn dipping their very own marshmallow skewer.  Dorothy’s staff took turns at the helm explaining various aspects of the chocolate industry to the students. “We organize our tours to explain numerous aspects of chocolate including growing cocoa, the history of chocolate, and using the five senses to enjoy the experience of fine chocolates,” Gastel said. Under the by-line of Martella Walsh, Gastel was formerly a reporter at the Wheeling News Register.

 Following the tour, students had time to shop in Dorothy’s store and then enjoyed their bag lunches at a pavilion in White Oak Park.  “The students all said it was the best field trip they ever had,” Smith said. “They were so excited!”

 If your group or organization would like to schedule a tour for the fall, please contact Dorothy’s Candies at 412-678-2623 or drop an e-mail to info@dorothyscandies. Please add Tour to the subject line.

 Tours are available Monday through Thursday by pre-arrangement at 10 am or 2 pm. Fall Tours are available from October 1 through November 20.  Spring Tours are available from January11 through March 5.

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