The married aromas of warm chocolate and peanut butter might have been the best welcome Wolfgang Candy Company could have offered guests on Wednesday, aside from the air conditioning.

The hot first day of York County's annual Made in America Tours Event, which runs through Saturday, was a success for the candy company.

One of more than 20 area businesses participating in the tours, Wolfgang is also one of the most popular. By noon, it was on track to break last year's record of about 800 tour-goers during the four-day event.

In addition to the tempting smells, guests watched as molten chocolate was poured over the little candies.

Managing partner Mike Schmid said trending data of sales at the factory store show spikes in sales of whichever candy is being made during tours.

Wolfgang Candy workers sort through sweets to ensure the final quality is up to their standards at their North York plant. (Bryant Hawkins photo)MORE
Wolfgang Candy workers sort through sweets to ensure the final quality is up to their standards at their North York plant. (Bryant Hawkins photo)
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"I think it's cause and effect," he said.

Intimate tour: Schmid said he suspects the Wolfgang tours are popular because they're so intimate. There are no velvet ropes or bright orange lines behind which the tourists must stay.

"You can even talk to the workers if you want to," he said. "And the fact that it's chocolate doesn't hurt."

Tour guide Abby Troshak, 17, of North York, said most people ask about two things: the smells and the second-quality products.

They wonder if she gets tired of smelling chocolate, and she tells them she does not.

They ask what happens to the candies that come out a little imperfect. Considered second quality, slightly imperfect candies are sent to the factory store and sold at a discount, she said.

It seemed like a real shame. On Wednesday, one of the little peanut butter eggs at the end an assembly line was sent to the rejection bin because it was coated in too much chocolate.

But candies that are beyond edible, such as those that fall to the floor, are packaged and sold to area hog farmers, she said.

"That's why the pigs are so big in York County," she said.

Elsewhere: The welcoming smell is a little different at Perrydell Farms dairy farm in York Township, where Ann Elicker of West York headed after the Wolfgang tour with her two children and some family from Shippensburg.

She was planning to hit several of the factories on Wednesday, to embrace local businesses and learn about the production and manufacturing process behind their products.

"It's a good outing for all of the kids," Elicker said. "It's good for them to learn about where they live."

At the dairy, the children were able to see the dairy cows and the milk bottling operation. In the afternoon, people can watch automated cow milking. The biggest attraction for Elicker's children, though, were the calves.

People are invited to pet the young calves, one of which seemed to be an indiscriminate sucker of little fingers.

The tours, organized by the York County Convention & Visitors Bureau, give people a chance to see some factories that are closed to the public for the rest of the year, said Alison Smolinski, spokeswoman.

In addition to the learning experience, the tours are economical because admission is free at most locations, she said.

- Reach Christina Kauffman at 505-5436, ckauffman@yorkdispatch.com, or follow her on Twitter at @dispatchbizwiz.