The Margaret River Chocolate Company has changed the way it dispenses iconic free chocolate samples at its three WA outlets.
Preserving the tasting tradition spanning almost twenty one years, the company has installed sealed dispensing units for its free chocolate tastings for the first time in more than 20 years in response to the coronavirus.
The business installed the dispensing units to replace its free tasting bowls that have delighted generations of kids and adults alike.
Over the last 21 years the company has given away hundreds of tonnes of free milk, white and dark chocolate from its factories in Margaret River and the Swan Valley and its Perth city store.
While the chocolate tastings are still free and customers can still take as many samples as they want, they will now have to do it differently, with strict hygiene measures in place.
The Margaret River Chocolate Company spokesman Martin Black said the change was necessary in the current environment, which had also seen the company close down its chocolate cafes and maximise its already expansive showroom areas to meet social distancing requirements.
He said the company would also continue to offer takeaway coffees from its factories in the Swan Valley and Margaret River so that people could still access two of life's essentials - coffee and chocolate.
"This is a very challenging time and as a tourism business our visitor numbers are down, but at least we are still open and trading at both of our factories in the Swan Valley and Margaret River and at our city store on Murray Street," Mr Black said.
"The safety of our staff and customers is now paramount, but we also want visitors to still be able to enjoy a visit to one of our beautiful settings where there is plenty of space both indoors and outdoors for social distancing."
Mr Black said the company had ramped up its on-line store at www.chocolatefactory.com.au and was also introducing a click and collect from all sites and a limited CBD delivery service from its Murray Street store.
"Even if people can't come in we have a huge range available on line, especially with Easter just a few weeks away," Mr Black said.
"We are very conscious of keeping as many of our staff as fully employed as possible and making sure that in these testing times people can still enjoy a bit of chocolate indulgence."