Southwest Chocolate & Coffee Fest brews up more exhibitors for this year's event - Albuquerque Journal

Southwest Chocolate & Coffee Fest brews up more exhibitors for this year’s event

It takes months of planning to get the Southwest Chocolate & Coffee Fest off the ground.

Dean Strober and his team at Blue River Productions work together to bring the festival to Albuquerque. This year marks the 13th year.

“It does take a lot of work,” Strober says. “This year’s festival is fully-realized and now is more than we ever imagined.”

The Southwest Chocolate & Coffee Fest takes place from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday, April 1, and Sunday, April 2, at Expo New Mexico.

Strober says the festival will feature over 175 vendors from across the country.

There will be five stages and the event will span over 200,000 square feet inside Expo New Mexico.

“We’ve never had this many new vendors coming from all over the country,” Strober says. “It’s exciting and daunting to take this on. We always aim to exceed expectations. We have a lot of small businesses participating in this year’s event which is always great.”

The last couple of years proved difficult for Strober as he navigated the pandemic.

He moved the festival outdoors and is now utilizing more indoor space at Expo New Mexico. There will be space for more than a dozen classes for festival-goers to attend.

“The big area of growth is on the programming side,” he says. “We’ve gone from one culinary stage to five culinary areas. There’s a dedicated area for children with Explora! There’s also a whole stage dedicated to coffee. There’s a lot this year that people haven’t experience. This is the biggest coffee and chocolate festival.”

Some of the programming includes:

• Painting classes take place at 11:30 a.m., 1 p.m., 2 p.m. and 3 p.m. each day. The fee is $10 and the classes are limited to 30 people.

• Bend & Brew Morning Yoga takes place at 8:30 a.m. Sunday, April 2. The fee is $45 and limited to 25 participants.

• Guittard Chocolate Challenge takes place at 3:30 p.m. Sunday, April 2. The baking slots are all filled but eventgoers can watch the competition.

More information can be found at chocolateandcoffeefest.com.

Home » Entertainment » Events » Southwest Chocolate & Coffee Fest brews up more exhibitors for this year’s event

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