Immokalee students tour Fort Myers chocolate factory

It’s not every day that a master chocolatier shares his secrets, but Immokalee Foundation students recently found themselves surrounded by artisanal desserts as Norman Love guided them through his operation facilities in Fort Myers.

Love led the 22 visitors through his salon, kitchen, packaging and warehouse areas at Norman Love Confections and Artisan Gelato. Students literally got a taste of professional culinary operations as Love offered them samples of chocolate products and “authentic Italian” artisan gelato.

Love’s company also runs a second branch, Artisan Gelato, in Fort Myers as well as Chocolate Salon outlets in Fort Myers, Naples and Estero.

“Mr. Love shared his history and culinary experiences with us, which was really interesting,” Jennifer Villa, a student at Immokalee High School and iTECH’s Culinary Arts program, said in a press release. Villa said she plans to enroll in Tallahassee’s Keiser University Center for Culinary Arts.

Students at the Immokalee Foundation benefit from programs supporting their pathways to career choices, including life skills, mentoring, tutoring and general post-secondary school preparation. The foundation operates branches in Immokalee and Naples.

“I couldn’t believe he invited me back to be a pastry chef in training for an entire day,” Villa said. “That will be another experience I will never forget.”

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