Two thumbs down for Turkey Hill

Ok, so I’ve written about the fun times in town, but now I have to admit there is one area business that is annoying me a little bit. Before I write about my annoyance with Turkey Hill, let me say that I am not anti-Turkey Hill by any stretch of the imagination. You can’t hate too much on a company that makes the better chocolate peanut butter ice cream in the world. They also made the amazing Mojito green tea – but the past tense verb is key here. After cruelly letting me fall in love with it, they pulled it from the market. But, that’s not my complaint for the day.

My complaint is about the new Turkey Hill Experience that opened just off of Route 30. I do give the company kudos for buying an old, abandoned building that had become an eyesore, one that could be seen right from the highway. I applaud that they choose to renovate rather than building an entirely new complex. But, that’s where my applause for this Turkey Hill Experience stops. I’m going to give a disclaimer; I haven’t visited the new complex, so maybe, just maybe I’m being unfair. However, I don’t anticipate visiting it anytime soon because I essentially feel like I would be paying $11.50 to step inside a giant infomercial. I’ve skipped around the website a little bit, and the place looks fun. Who wouldn’t want to milk a fake cow, smell teas from all over the world, create their own ice cream, and then star in a commercial for it? Ordinarily, I’d be game, but I’m fairly certain that while I’m doing all of that Turkey Hill branding would be in my face.

So, here’s my beef. This experience/museum/infomercial has a money making gift shop and a restaurant attached to it. Surely people will stop and guzzle down some tea and ice cream after their visit. Turkey Hill products are great, and a sample should be more than sufficient to get people to buy more. I don’t have a problem with the “tour our process/buy our stuff” marketing scheme. I remember plenty of family reunions where we’d take the FREE factory tour of Utz and then traipse several minutes across town to the outlet store to load up  Utz goodies. The FREE Hershey factory tour is a fond memory from my childhood, and they put plenty of candy to buy in the gift shop right after they cleverly peak your interest with a bite sized sample. But, Turkey Hill is charging $11.50 for people to tour a dressed up version of their process. I can admit that the tour looks more exciting than Utz or Hershey (though let’s not forget that Hershey does have a ride and singing cows), so maybe Turkey Hill could get away with charging something — but $11.50 is steep — too steep to pay to step inside a giant commercial.