3 January 2024

Junee Licorice and Chocolate Factory plans to open rooftop bar in 2024

| Oliver Jacques
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Junee Factory women who have made wreaths

The factory held wreath making workshops in December. Photo: Supplied.

The Junee Licorice and Chocolate Factory is planning its most significant expansion in its 25-year history, with renovations underway to build a rooftop bar and new freckle making experience room on the premises.

“It’s a really exciting period; it’s the biggest renovation we’ve ever undertaken and the biggest evolution of our product range and facilities,” sales and marketing manager Rhiannon Druce said.

“The rooftop bar will be a function space where you can have your 21st birthday party, wedding or Christmas party or just get your friends together and have an Aperol spritz on the deck.

“You can have those events now, but you’re in the thick of the regular trading, but there are those who want to be able to have their own space.”

Ms Druce said she didn’t have an opening date for the new facilities as yet, but expected them to be operational sometime in 2024.

Neil Druce

While growing up, owner Neil was never allowed lollies or sweets. He grew up and built himself a chocolate factory. Photo: Junee Licorice & Chocolate Factory.

Ms Druce said orders for chocolate were still flying out the door after a busy Christmas period.

“We are express freighting chocolate; some people are ordering it and getting it the next day, but for some people it takes considerably longer.”

It’s been a volatile year for both the factory and Junee, with Rhiannon and her father Neil spearheading a community campaign against the closure of the last remaining bank in town. But it’s ended with some good news.

“The Commonwealth Bank are back to being open five days a week and they’ve opted to stay open until 2026,” Ms Druce said.

“There’s been financial unrest this year with inflation, and we really appreciate that people are still supporting small businesses over the larger corporations.”

READ ALSO With a twist: Sapphire Coast distillery relaunches gin, now with an Aussie-grown ingredient

Meanwhile, Rhiannon’s brother Dean Druce has launched a unique initiative regarding his store, Corowa Whisky and Chocolate.

“I have decided to allow five adults to visit my distillery,” he says. “These lucky five will be shown around personally by me and will learn all the secrets and magic of my distillery. Five golden tickets have been hidden inside five Dreaded Drop V boxes. These could be in any shop in any town in any country in the world. Good luck and happy hunting.”

If you find one, you can get in touch with Dean via his Facebook page.

The Junee Chocolate and Licorice Factory, at 45-61 Lord Street, Junee, is open seven days a week from 9 am to 4 pm.

Original Article published by Oliver Jacques on Region Riverina.

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