Special Report

The Best Chocolate Shop in Every State

In the last 25 years or so, the artisanal bean-to-bar movement has responded to the American public’s demand for richer and more vibrant-tasting chocolate, competing with chocolatiers who in some cases have been making chocolate for decades. In every state, entrepreneurs – some with backgrounds in pastry-making and others simply turning a hobby into a business – answered the call. (These are the best chocolate brands on the market.)

To determine the best chocolate shop in every state, 24/7 Tempo consulted rankings and listings on sites including Food & Wine, Simply Chocolate, Time Out, Eater, Food Network, The Daily Meal, Yelp, and Culture Trip, as well as numerous local and regional sites, then used editorial discretion to choose the top chocolate purveyor in each state.

It’s hard to put a number on how many chocolate shops there are in the United States, since many are also patisseries, ice cream parlors, or gift shops. But the standalone chocolate shops in America seem to be increasing. (But speaking of ice cream, these are the best ice cream parlors in America.)

Some of the shops found in America’s downtowns or roadsides have been here for generations. Wildman’s Candy Store in Grand Forks, North Dakota, was founded in 1885 by William Widman, and is run by the fourth generation of the family. Govatos Chocolates in Wilmington, Delaware, was begun in 1894 by Greek immigrant John Govatos. Govatos was but one of the European immigrants who founded chocolate shops here, bringing old-world recipes and an insistence on the best ingredients and quality. A more recent one was Fritz Holl, who came from Switzerland, famous for its chocolates, and opened Holl’s Handcrafted Swiss Chocolates in 1986 in West Virginia.

Plenty of native-born Americans have launched chocolate shops too, of course – like Dan Rattigan and Jael Skeffington, who drove a converted school bus to Costa Rica and bought an abandoned cacao plantation there. That set them on a path to eventually open French Broad Chocolate, their shop in Asheville, North Carolina, in 2012.

Click here to see the best chocolate shop in every state

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