I piled on all my turquoise jewelry for the trip to the Native American-owned and operated Bedré chocolate factory in Davis, Oklahoma. My whole family went along for the ride.
After we left the heavy traffic of the Dallas metroplex, we crossed the Texas-Oklahoma border and passed Winstar, the biggest casino in the world. The guys were tempted to stop, but didn’t. The land opened up flat and green; tons (literally) of cows grazed in the afternoon sun. We drove another hour and easily found the Bedré chocolate factory just off the freeway. It somewhat resembled an outpost or perhaps a Post Office building, and that’s not a bad thing; it seemed appropriate in Chickasaw Country. I couldn’t help but visualize Native Americans on horseback galloping across the plains; that had to be an awesome sight.
We stopped in the visitor’s center first. Sheila, Kathy, and Jack were friendly and informative. Sheila seemed to know all about the chocolate factory. She told us the Chickasaws bought it and the patented Norwegian recipe from a previous owner. Bedré means “better” in Norwegian. She told us Bedré chocolates are available at Neiman-Marcus and Saks 5th Avenue. We said, ‘oh, we could have just driven to Neiman’s in downtown Dallas,’ but this was more of an adventure. Sheila told us about other attractions in the area and told us where to go for the best barbecue lunch in Oklahoma. She was just wonderful – beyond “bedré!”
We walked across the parking lot to the chocolate factory which had a large retail space and view of the manufacturing equipment. Unfortunately, the manufacturing line was not running when we were there. Sales associate, Monty, greeted us with a sample tray. We had a choice of milk chocolate-coated potato chips or white chocolate-coated popcorn. We all lined up to get one. I tried the potato chip and liked the combination of sweet and salty. The grandkids told me the chocolate-covered popcorn was epic.
There were displays of boxed and bagged chocolates, chocolate bars, chocolate sodas, and pretty gift baskets, as well as the glass case with trays of individual chocolates. There were meltaways, nut clusters, bark, and, of course, chocolate covered potato chips and popcorn. (No truffles. Alas, my search for the perfect champagne truffle continues.) We bought several things for the grandkids to eat on-the-spot, and we tried the chocolate sodas. I purchased dark chocolate cashew bark, milk chocolate, dark chocolate, almond, raspberry, caramel, and peanut butter-filled bars, bags of milk chocolate pecan and caramel clusters, tins of peanut clusters, and boxes of milk chocolate ‘hot fudge’ meltaways and dark chocolate raspberry meltaways. It was quite a haul, but I have a soft spot for Native Americans, and I will be able to give nicely-packaged Bedré as gifts. As we walked back to the cars, my daughter Kelly told me Brian, her husband, who is well known to be (and I say this with love) extremely frugal, was bragging that he got THREE free samples! We all laughed and headed off for lunch.
As Sheila had suggested, we went to Smokin’ Joes BBQ where they serve perhaps the biggest sandwiches in the world. After that, some of us napped in the car while Casey, the designated driver, got us home. Then, we did a little sampling.
The chocolate was mild and airy with a definite buttery taste. We thought the dark chocolate nut bark was a bit waxy. The cashew nut clusters were divine with that buttery tasting chocolate against the crunch of the cashews. The peanuts in the peanut clusters were salted and gave us again that sweet / salty combination. The boxed meltaways were individually wrapped in foil and looked so pretty in my candy dishe at home. We enjoyed the Hot Fudge meltaways with a creamy center but the raspberry with an almost liquid center was our favorite. I thought I might pass out if I continued tasting, so put the candy bars away for another time.
All in all, it was a great experience; we highly recommend it, and we are proud to support the Chickasaw Nation.
Bedré Fine Chocolate
37 N. Colbert Road
Davis, Oklahoma 73030