Kegg's Chocolate Factory & Holocaust Museum - June 13, 2012
by Daryl Moss
TIRET group pre-entry to Kegg's.
Randi explains the 'chocolate' process.
Sixteen members and five guests headed for Kegg's Chocolate Factory & Retail Store (in Houston since 1946) on a beautiful day. After a group picture, we entered, glanced around, and gathered at the "tour's end" of the viewing hallway. There Randi (our tour guide) showed us some wall-mounted pictures of cocoa trees and pods/beans and discussed manufacturing steps to butter and solids. She pointed out the rear kitchen where all the crèmes are made. Then, with the cooled production belt running, we watched as a production worker placed animal crackers that were coated top and bottom with yummy chocolate. She discussed various aspects of quality control: vibration, cooling, molding/shaping, packaging by hand.
A Kegg's busy line worker.
Summertime is fairly slow, but production ramps up to several thousand pieces per day during the busy holiday season through Valentine's Day. Chocolate remains good for up to one year.
Diane & Mary try to decide.
We gobbled down the coated animal cracker sample offered. Back inside the retail shop, many purchased various offerings from the multi-racks and counters full of shaped chocolate, Italian ices and others goodies. The entire Kegg's story (with more pictures) is told on www.keggscandies.com. Being the trip planner, as promised, Daryl passed out one chocolate-covered cherry-some actually said, "No thanks"-to those that signed up for this 'chocolate' trip on the short ride over to Cleburne's Cafeteria. Cleburne's staff served us a lot of food-huge portions-and we had a lot of accolades on how good it tasted.
James & Dorothy pose momentarily.
A short ride over to the Houston Holocaust Museum (second largest) was followed by a quick group picture below the signage.
Eating great food at Cleburne's.
Docents Allan and Elaine took our group split up to different sections. Elaine began the tour outside with the building architecture itself: the symbolic crematorium smokestacks; 'electric' fence; grave markers for families wiped out in Europe. Several inside areas had symbolism or optical illusions pointed out along the tour. Inside, she explained the Torah and its hand-reproduced historical significance along with other Jewish artifacts. She progressed through the Jewish life within Germany pre-Hitler, then followed Hitler and the NAZI Party's increasingly repressive measures against the Jews once he achieved power. The wall placards stepped through the pre-WWII era ending in the Holocaust in vivid pictures with accompanying story provided by the docent.
More fellowship - "big" portions.
Back outside we toured a railroad car of the type used to transport since there were 6000 concentration camps. It was alongside a Norwegian fishing vessel of the type that saved many Jews from sure death. Lastly, we saw an autobiographical video of many of Houston's survivors - short individual narratives - of the Holocaust recall their horrors as teens torn away from parents and family, many of whom never survived. Much more of the story of the museum and what it contains relating to the Holocaust is located on their website, www.hmh.org. Unfortunately, the museum allows no inside photography or videography.
Docent Elaine explains the symbols.
Members: Lawson & Kay Cook; Howard & Mary Lee Cameron; Rudy & Mary Gomez; James & Dorothy Wade; Mary Brown; Tony Leigh; Daryl Moss; Gary Luckett; George Wolf; Dianne Murray; Gladys Price; Mary Thompson
Guests: Merle Chandler; Pat & Annette Hawkins; Jake & Milly Bergman.
TIRET & guest just outside the HMH.
Join us soon on another exciting Day Trip.
Copyright TI Retiree Club of Houston 2012, All Rights Reserved.