Special Report

The Best Chocolate Shop in Every State

Courtesy of Sweet Designs Chocolatier via Yelp

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

Source: Courtesy of Erica M. via Yelp

Alabama: Chocolatà Artisanal Chocolatier
> Location: Birmingham

Chocolatà specializes in chocolate bars and bonbons. Among its 23 bonbon choices are a Luxardo cherry and whiskey octagon, a Campesino Rum heart, dried sweetened cantaloupe in 63% dark chocolate, and Unicorn Bark Slab Squares. The shop’s online menu includes an FAQ section that addresses questions such as how long bonbons and chocolate bars last, what is ganache, and which chocolate is vegan.


Source: Courtesy of Yueming Q. via Yelp

Alaska: Aurora Chocolate
> Location: Anchorage

As the name might suggest, this chocolatier was inspired by the northern lights seen in Alaska and elsewhere in the far north. The chocolate pieces here are hand-painted using a temperature-controlled process involving colored cocoa butter. The result is a spectacular collection of sweets with every hue in the rainbow. The chef behind the magic is Ingrid Shim, who was the head chocolatier at the SLS Hotel in Beverly Hills and also worked with top chefs in Las Vegas and Paris.

Source: Courtesy of Zaks' Chocolate via Yelp

Arizona: Zaks’ Chocolate
> Location: Scottsdale

Jim and Maureen Elitzak went from chocolate as a hobby to chocolate as a vocation. Zaks’ Chocolate is a small-batch craft chocolate maker and an artisan chocolate shop. They sort ethically sourced single-origin beans and wrap chocolate bars themselves. The owners say their dark chocolate bars contain only organically farmed cocoa beans, organic cane sugar, and a small amount of cocoa butter to enhance smoothness. All of their dark chocolate bars are vegan, gluten-free, and dairy-free. Their popular white chocolate uses just three ingredients – house-pressed cocoa butter, whole milk, and organic cane sugar.

Source: Courtesy of Markham & Fitz via Yelp

Arkansas: Markham & Fitz Chocolate Makers
> Location: Bentonville

Markham & Fitz Chocolate Makers was started by University of Arkansas alums Lauren Blanco and Preston Stewart. Blanco first encountered cacao farms doing economic development in war-torn countries. Stewart uses his chemistry knowledge and zeal for food science in his technical and scientific approach to chocolate-making. The shop gets its cacao beans from Haiti, Dominican Republic, Bolivia, Guatemala, and Nicaragua.


Source: Courtesy of Michelle T. via Yelp

California: Ginger Elizabeth Chocolates
> Location: Sacramento

Ginger Elizabeth Hahn, who comes from a family of bakers in Northern California, got an externship at the Jacques Torres chocolate shop in New York in 2002 and honed her skills as a chocolatier. She then worked at the Ritz in Chicago under the discerning eye of En-Ming Hsu, gold medalist at the 2001 World Pastry Cup. Hahn has produced chocolates since 2007. Her shop specializes in bonbons in flavors such as raspberry rose geranium, brown butter, and olive oil sea salt. Macarons, chocolate bars, and ice cream are also among the selections. The other shop ships chocolates coast-to-coast in the shop’s signature white boxes with black bows.

Source: Courtesy of Riza H. C. via Yelp

Colorado: Roberta’s Chocolates
> Location: Denver

Roberta’s Chocolates has been churning out chocolate, with smooth creams, covered nuts, and truffles, since 1995. The company has more than 10,000 molds to form candy into any shape or design. The shop effects an only-in-Colorado vibe with chocolate bars bearing the lettering High From Colorado that includes a cannabis leaf. Other Colorado-themed goodies include Colorado gold – milk chocolate filled with Rice Krispies, pretzels, Oreos, and nuts – and white chocolate Aspen Bark. The shop also features chocolate on a stick in the form of baby carriages, butterflies, and hearts.


Source: Fascia's Chocolates / Facebook

Connecticut: Fascia’s Chocolates
> Location: Waterbury

Now a Waterbury institution, Fascia’s Chocolates has expanded to multiple locations since John Fascia first started making chocolate in 1964. At the time, he was working as an electronic technician with the Bristol Company. Fascia had been roasting nuts and selling them at work to supplement his income. He wanted to increase sales and decided to make chocolate and began to do so in his basement. Today, his daughters, son-in-law, and grandchildren are all involved in the business. One of the items the shop is known for are its meltaways, which have a center of softened chocolate with a variety of natural flavors added.

Source: Courtesy of Eleonora B. via Yelp

Delaware: Govatos Chocolates
> Location: Wilmington

The Govatos family has been selling chocolate since 1894, when Greek immigrant John Govatos came to the United States and started the company under the name Queen Elizabeth Chocolates. The shop, one of the oldest on our list, uses recipes that have been handed down through the generations. It sells individual confections as well as chocolate samplers. Chocolate caramels, butter cream candies, truffles, and chocolate pretzels are among the choices.

Source: Courtesy of James C. via Yelp

Florida: Castronovo Chocolate
> Location: Stuart

Denise Castronovo, self-styled “ecopreneur,” chocolate-maker and ecologist, is the proprietor of Castronovo Chocolate. Castronovo says on her company website that she makes sure her partners “enable protection of the rainforest and indigenous cultures…enhance the market for cacao, so that it improves the livelihood for communities who have lived among the rainforest for generations.” Castronovo looks for wild and heirloom cacao varieties with unique flavors. One of the more recent new additions is its Arhuacos Dark Milk 66% with Cacao Nibs, made from cacao that had been growing wild in Colombia.


Source: Courtesy of Steve W. via Yelp

Georgia: Cacao Atlanta Chocolate Company
> Location: Atlanta

Cacao Atlanta Chocolate Company wants customers to know that its product is organic, from its cacao paste, to its cocoa nibs, raw powder, and cacao beans. Founded in 2004, the company packages its product in elegant brown boxes with burnt orange bows. You can sample the purist bar with 60% dark chocolate and move on to the salame di cioccolato, 60% bean-to-bar chocolate rolled with shortbread and amaretti cookies. The shop also sells bark purses in flavors such as citrus basil, gummy bear sprinkle, and raspberry rose.

Source: Courtesy of John H K. via Yelp

Hawaii: Mānoa Chocolate Hawaii
> Location: Kailua (Oahu)

“Mānoa” is the Hawaiian word for “solid,” “vast,” or “depth.” The owners believe in taking care of the land where they harvest the cacao and are involved in reforestation efforts in Hawaii. They also strive to develop deep ties with their farmer partners. The shop has been crafting bean-to-bar chocolate on Oahu since 2010, and says it ethically sources cacao beans from Hawaii and around the world. (Hawaii is the only U.S. state with the climate to grow cacao beans.) It specializes in dark chocolate, and incorporates such ingredients as mango, passion fruit, goat’s milk, rum, sea salt, bananas, and coconuts in its confections.


Source: Courtesy of Yulia N. via Yelp

Idaho: The Chocolat Bar
> Location: Boise

Jason and Trish Stack are world travelers who bought this 15-year-old confectionery in 2018 when the original owners retired. Jason is a trained chocolatier who managed a manufacturing plant and has restaurant management experience. Trish comes from a marketing background. They produce handcrafted truffles, clusters, turtles, barks, dipped fruits, and other chocolate confections. Holiday offerings include an eggnog truffle, peppermint barks, and a yuletide truffle – white chocolate ganache infused with allspice, mace, cardamom, orange peel, coriander, and nutmeg covered in a shell of dark chocolate.

Source: Courtesy of Lacey T. via Yelp

Illinois: Vosges Haut Chocolat
> Location: Chicago

Vosges Haut Chocolat likes to use chocolate as a medium for storytelling. The shop’s own story starts with founder and chocolatier Katrina Markoff, who served an apprenticeship in Spain and came to the belief that food could lead to “transformative, visceral experiences.” A self-described alchemist, she traveled the world to explore “the principle of blending the elements, planets and their vibrations with food.” She was thinking outside the chocolate box early on by adding bacon, sea salt, and chiles to her chocolate. The offerings from Vosges are no less imaginative today.

Source: Courtesy of Niki B. via Yelp

Indiana: Xchocol’art
> Location: Carmel

Austrian culture and its chocolate tradition inform the chocolate-making process at Xchocol’art. The shop was opened by chocolatier Joann Hofer, a painter by trade who recognized the artistic possibilities of chocolate while living in Austria. After she moved back to the U.S., she began distributing Zotter Austrian Chocolate and immersed herself in all things chocolate. She opened the shop in 2011. She’s assisted by husband Roland, an Austrian expat who seeks to combine flavor pairings and creates the packaging for the products. Their chocolate mendiants – bite-sized slabs of melted chocolate studded with dried fruit and nuts served during the holiday season – are their best-seller.


Source: Courtesy of Jeremy H. via Yelp

Iowa: Chocolate Manor
> Location: Davenport

Chocolate Manor is run by the Mohr family, who have been making hand-crafted artisan chocolates and other treats for over 20 years. Among their offerings are toffee, caramels, and truffles. For the holiday season, the store is offering peppermint candy cane truffles. Chocolate Manor holds tours of its facility and invites visitors to learn about its history.

Source: Courtesy of Winnie W. via Yelp

Kansas: Cocoa Dolce Chocolates
> Location: Wichita

The folks at Cocoa Dolce Artisan Chocolates want you to linger at their Wichita shops (they have three). “Our Sweet Lounges are beautiful spaces that epitomize the sweet life,” according to their website. “As soon as you enter, time seems to slow, senses heighten, and the pleasure of sweetness is celebrated.” Patrons can also enjoy live music at any of the locations (they post a calendar of upcoming acts on Facebook). Customers can also build a box of their favorite guilty pleasures of macarons or chocolate pieces containing blackberry mojito, honey lavender, mimosa, or PB&J.


Source: Courtesy of Bryan M. via Yelp

Kentucky: Art Eatables
> Location: Louisville

Art Eatables is a chocolate shop whose website requires viewers to certify that they’re at least 21 years old. Why? Because their signature confections are truffles filled with Wild Turkey, Jim Beam, or Jameson whiskey, among other spirits. There are alcohol-free candies as well, though, including layered and laminated chocolate lollipops and caramels cloaked in white, milk, or dark chocolate.

Source: Courtesy of Picha M. via Yelp

Louisiana: The Chocolate Crocodile
> Location: Bossier City

The Chocolate Crocodile is the flagship store of the Arco Company, founded in 2005 by Jim and Cyndi Ragon. They have three shops in Alabama and Louisiana. Among their signature products are the Monster Dipped Apples – chocolate-immersed apples covered in caramel and nuts – and, like the sign says, crocodile-shaped chocolates, chocolate Crocodile Claws, and the popular Crocodile Nest.

Source: Wilbur's of Maine Chocolate Confections / Facebook

Maine: Wilbur’s of Maine Chocolate Confections
> Location: Freeport

Wilbur’s of Maine Chocolate Confections produces its product with a staff of 12 chocolatiers and makes thousands of pounds of confections each year in small batches. Among its best-sellers are chocolate-covered blueberries and cranberries; Maine Mud chocolate sauce in gingerbread caramel and mint flavors; and camouflage malt balls. The shop also currently has a line of chocolate bars wrapped in the colors of the Ukrainian flag.


Source: Glarus Chocolatier / Facebook

Maryland: Glarus Chocolatier
> Location: Baltimore

Glarus Chocolatier was founded in 2004 by the husband-and-wife team of Ben and Jenny Hauser. The shop’s Swiss-inspired chocolates are handmade and don’t use preservatives. Among the offerings are fresh-cream truffles, Balinese sea salt bars, almond bark, dark chocolate sauce, and Sagamore Whiskey truffles and caramels. (Glarus is the licensed chocolate maker for Kevin Plank’s Sagamore Spirit Rye Whiskey Distillery in Baltimore.) Seasonal items include peppermint bark, peppermint truffles, and hand-painted chocolate Santas.

Source: Courtesy of Adriana F. via Yelp

Massachusetts: Chequessett Chocolate
> Location: North Truro

This Cape Cod establishment, run by Katerine Reed and Josiah Mayo, was founded in 2014 after the two witnessed rustic chocolate-making in Costa Rica. Their shop covers all aspects of chocolate confection. The owners handcraft their chocolate from sustainably grown cacao beans. One of their signature items is white chocolate infused with lemon and thyme.


Source: Courtesy of Monica Y. via Yelp

Michigan: Birmingham Chocolate
> Location: Ferndale

Birmingham Chocolate was founded in 2007 by Douglas Cale. The company produces chocolates in three categories: bonbons, bars, and treats. The bonbons include truffles, cremes, caramels, and clusters, sold in boxed assortments and in bulk. The bars are grouped among four families: classics, decadence, ketobars, and keto!lite (no added sugars and fine for keto, paleo, and vegan diets). Treats are chocolate-covered pretzels, nonpareils, almonds, coffee beans, orange peels, and turtles.

Source: Courtesy of Chocolat Celeste via Yelp

Minnesota: Chocolat Celeste
> Location: St. Paul

Chocolate Celeste is a female-owned business that’s at the forefront of the craft chocolate movement in Minnesota. Proprietor Mary Leonard opened the shop in 2002 after apprenticing with master chocolatier Tom Cinnamon in Vancouver. She also trained in chocolate technology with Terry Richardson, patent holder for Godiva Chocolate. The shop creates truffles and other confections with premium European chocolate and artisanal cream and butter from Minnesota dairy farms. Among her truffle delights are pear cognac, Frangelico ganache, and Key lime.

Source: Courtesy of Margaretes Fine Chocolates

Mississippi: Margaretes Fine Chocolates
> Location: Tupelo

Margaretes Fine Chocolates, opened in 1996, originally a franchised operation of the Mrs. Burden’s Chocolates chain. The shop specializes in custom orders for special occasions. Among the shop’s best sellers are its chocolate-covered strawberries, made daily using up to three different chocolates.


Source: Courtesy of Bijoux Handcrafted Chocolates via Yelp

Missouri: Bijoux Handcrafted Chocolates
> Location: Des Peres

Meggie Mobley, born in St. Louis, started her culinary journey by attending a French pastry school in Chicago where she discovered her passion for baking, and love of chocolate. She returned to St. Louis, which she said lacked an artisanal chocolate boutique, a situation she intended to change. Among Mobley’s creations are chocolate pieces with salted caramel, tiramisù with vanilla bean and mascarpone white chocolate, and black currant balsamic combined with Peruvian dark chocolate ganache.

Source: Courtesy of Erika T. via Yelp

Montana: La Châtelaine Chocolat Co.
> Location: Bozeman

Husband and wife Wlady and Shannon Hughes Grochowski are the proprietors here. Wlady, from the Vosges region of France, came to the U.S. in the early 1990s and started selling French pastries. Shannon, a graduate of Montana State University, cut her culinary teeth in Parisian kitchens and continues to train in Paris each summer. They infuse their creations with absinthe, rose flower water, Guinness stout, black peppercorns, dandelion root, and passion fruit, among other things.


Source: Courtesy of Kristine B. via Yelp

Nebraska: Baker’s Candies
> Location: Greenwood

In 1987, Kevin Baker planted the Baker’s Candies flag and started producing gourmet chocolates. The company proudly calls its product “blue collar gourmet.” Baker leveraged his engineering background to cut costs, giving him an edge on the competition. He steered the company toward making affordable meltaway-grade chocolates and became a major chocolate confectioner in the Midwest. The company’s 16-ounce cello bag of meltaways is considered its signature product. There also is a meltaway item that combines chocolate with potato chips. The family-owned company operates a 25,000-square-foot plant in Greenwood, Neb.

Source: Courtesy of Jean-Marie Auboine Chocolatier via Yelp

Nevada: Jean-Marie Auboine Chocolatier
> Location: Las Vegas

Few chocolatiers on the list have the résumé of Jean-Marie Auboine. The French-born chef graduated from the prestigious Lycée Technique Hotelier and worked at top-tier restaurants in Monaco, France, and Switzerland. He later teamed with master chef Alain Ducasse, the only living chef to hold 21 Michelin stars. After serving in pastry-chef stints at the Presidente Intercontinental Hotel in Mexico City, the Fontainebleau Hotel in Miami Beach, and the Bellagio in Las Vegas, he founded Jean-Marie Auboine Chocolatier in 2012. Among his best-sellers are banana-split drinking chocolate, salted caramel drinking chocolate, a passion fruit chocolate collection, sea salt caramels, and blueberries covered in milk chocolate.

Source: Courtesy of Nokie H. via Yelp

New Hampshire: Dancing Lion Chocolates
> Location: Manchester

Richard Tango-Lowy is the master chocolatier who operates Dancing Lion Chocolate. He earned his chocolate spurs in Belize, Paris, Vancouver, and the Rhône Valley. On the shop’s website, Tango-Lowy anthropomorphizes chocolate. He said he’s “sought her subtle nuances, studied her moods, struggled to understand her complex temper.” Dancing Lion Chocolate sources cacao from small farms around the world. The shop includes exotic extracts and preserved fruit in its creations. The shop also offers courses in chocolate making.


Source: 2 Chicks with Chocolate / Facebook

New Jersey: 2 Chicks with Chocolate
> Location: Middletown Township

The two women who run the northern Monmouth County establishment are Elyissia Wassung and her mother, Barbara. A car-related injury prevented Barbara from commuting to work while she was living in Queens, so she started making chocolate in her kitchen and sold the product door to door. Her daughter Elyissia, who was working in the telecom industry, caught the entrepreneurial fever and joined her mother as a chocolate maker. Their holiday bonbon collection features an illustration of a vintage truck hauling a Christmas tree. They also have a wine-infused chocolate collection.

Source: Courtesy of Ryan F. via Yelp

New Mexico: Chokola
> Location: Taos

Debi Vincent and Javier Abad began their chocolate-making journey and married life in Venezuela. They now operate a shop in Taos selling single-origin, two-ingredient bars that are wrapped in packaging created by local artists. Chokola’s menu includes a tasting trio of hot chocolate, mousse, and a truffle. A reviewer on Yelp said “The sipping chocolate had the perfect amount of lavender and was wonderfully rich with the chocolate.”


New York: Jacques Torres Chocolate
> Location: New York

The eponymous store is named after Jacques Torres, also known as Mr. Chocolate, who crafted a storied career as a pastry chef in France and America before he opened his chocolate shop in Brooklyn in New York City in 2000. The shop’s website says Torres was the first artisan chocolatier in New York City to start from cocoa beans and make his own chocolate. The shop has created holiday-themed bonbons and chocolate sculptures. His caramelized macadamia nuts cloaked in milk chocolate are best-sellers. Torres opened New York City’s first chocolate museum called “Choco-Story New York, Chocolate Museum and Experience with Jacques Torres,” which was located inside his store for two years.

Source: ablokhin / iStock Editorial via Getty Images

North Carolina: French Broad Chocolate
> Location: Asheville

Dan Rattigan and Jael Skeffington met at a wedding in 2003, and life’s journey would eventually take them to Asheville, N.C., where they opened French Broad Chocolate. They became chocolate vendors after driving a converted school bus to Costa Rica and bought an abandoned cacao plantation. They started serving chocolate to expats, fishermen, and surfers in their café and dessert shop called Bread & Chocolate. It was Dan and Jael’s goal to become bean-to-bar chocolate makers, and in 2012 that was realized. They offer sipping chocolate, chocolate bars, and treats. Their bonbons come in wildflower honey, caramel, raspberry ganache, lemon cheesecake, and chocolate habanero, and strawberry balsamic.

Source: Widman's Candy Shop / Facebook

North Dakota: Widman’s Candy Shop
> Location: Grand Forks

This fourth-generation candy company was founded by William Widman in Dubuque, Iowa, in 1885. The firm subsequently expanded to Crookston, Minnesota, and Fargo and Grand Forks, North Dakota (the Dubuque store is now closed). Caramels, truffles, turtles, chocolate roses, and other items are available, and a signature product is the company’s “Chippers” — Red River Valley potato chips drenched in milk, dark, or white almond chocolate.


Source: Courtesy of Sweet Designs Chocolatier via Yelp

Ohio: Sweet Designs Chocolatier
> Location: Lakewood

Chocolatiers Inez Rainer and Sam Sweeney are the female forces behind Sweet Designs Chocolatier. Rainer emigrated to the United States from the former Yugoslavia with dreams of opening her own business. Rainer said in a video on her website that she hires people who are desperate for a job and anyone who works hard “will always have a job here.” She believes in giving back to her community. Her recipes are based on her memories of how chocolate should taste – “very chocolatey with a lot of cocoa butter.” Creamy truffles, salted caramels, and organic and vegan chocolates are among the offerings.

Source: Courtesy of Bedré Fine Chocolate via Yelp

Oklahoma: Bedré Fine Chocolate
> Location: Davis

Bedré Fine Chocolate was founded four decades ago near Ada, Oklahoma. ” The shop was bought by members of the Chickasaw Nation in 2000, and the company took off. The new owners curated bold flavors of chocolate and turned Bedré into a luxury chocolate brand. Chocolate comes with a Western flair in the form of meltaway boots and milk chocolate boots and hats. There are also mint chocolate assortments in the shapes of Oklahoma and Texas.


Source: Courtesy of Mary Lynn C. via Yelp

Oregon: Creo Chocolate
> Location: Portland

The Straub family got into the chocolate business in 2014 after a visit to Ecuador. They were drawn to chocolate by watching small multi-generational family farmers, and connected with them through “common pride of growing something, by our common heritage of farming.” The shop offers caramelized hazelnuts and almonds in dark chocolate and milk chocolate varieties.

Source: Courtesy of Maddy G. via Yelp

Pennsylvania: Éclat Chocolate
> Location: West Chester

It’s unlikely you will find the kind of bonbons made by Christopher Curtin at Éclat Chocolate anyplace else. These include caramels infused with calvados and truffles made with Peruvian Nacional cacao. A Jamaican allspice and sweet, nutty sesame seeds infuse another offering. Not to be missed are bars, milk or dark, filled with crunchy Pennsylvania Dutch-style pretzels.

Source: Chocolate Delicacy / Rhode Island

Rhode Island: Chocolate Delicacy
> Location: Warwick

Candy and fudge are the calling cards for Chocolate Delicacy, whose slogan is “Happiness is an unexpected piece of chocolate.” Dave and Marie Schaller started making chocolate in 1992. This holiday season, for Hanukkah, the shop is making chocolate gold coins and brightly colored dreidel-shaped Oreos. For Christmas, you can choose from among chocolate-covered Oreos and festively decorated chocolate mini presents.


Source: Courtesy of Brian H. via Yelp

South Carolina: The Chocolate Tree
> Location: Beaufort

Historic Beaufort is a pleasant city to stroll about and the Chocolate Tree, opened in 1980, is a nice place to happen upon. Patrons of the store like its variety of delicacies – cream-filled candies, chocolate bark with various nuts, and chocolate covered Oreos, among other things. The shop was founded by Pat Green, who grew the business from a hobby. She was joined by her sister, Joy King, who now runs the business with Pat’s son, Gene Green.

Source: Courtesy of Chubby Chipmunk Hand-Dipped Chocolates via Yelp

South Dakota: Chubby Chipmunk Hand-Dipped Chocolates
> Location: Deadwood

Mary “Chip” Tautkus opened Chubby Chipmunk in the old gold rush town of Deadwood in 2005. Back in the ’70s, she had a small bakery of that name in her native Southern California. Her goal is to make customers swoon and sigh once they sink their teeth into a truffle. She offers about 30 varieties of truffles. The Hot Mama is seasoned with habanero, jalapeño, and chipotle chiles; the Chipmunk Treasure involves toffee, praline, coconut, almonds, and both milk and dark chocolate.


Source: Colts Chocolates / Facebook

Tennessee: Colts Chocolates
> Location: Nashville

Colts Chocolates was founded in Music City in 1984 by Mackenzie Colt. Her store became a chocolate destination for rising stars and celebrities alike. Colts Bolts, either in milk or dark chocolate, are based on custom-blended peanut butter and freshly roasted whole almonds. Another signature item is Marie McGhee’s Bumble Bees – layers of buttery salted caramel and pecans covered in chocolate. It was created as a tribute to Myrtle Marie McGhee, Mackenzie’s mother.

Source: Courtesy of Ashley B. via Yelp

Texas: Cacao & Cardamom Chocolatier
> Location: Houston

Cacao & Cardamom Chocolatier founder Annie Rupani brings a South Asian background to her business, incorporating cardamom, cumin, coriander, and fennel in her chocolate offerings. When she attended Boston University, she studied in London and Amman, with stops in Italy, Greece, Lebanon, Egypt, and China. While she was on the road, Rupani gained an appreciation for food and took chocolatiering courses in Kuala Lumpur.

Source: Courtesy of Mike C. via Yelp

Utah: Hatch Family Chocolates
> Location: Salt Lake City

There’s more than a touch of whimsy at Hatch Family Chocolates. The Salt Lake City establishment fashions shoes, chocolate skulls (topped with top hats and rose garlands), dinosaurs, cats and dogs, and golf balls out of chocolate. The company also has a line of ice cream that it ships.


Source: Courtesy of Tina S. via Yelp

Vermont: Lake Champlain Chocolates
> Location: Burlington and Waterbury Center

The Lake Champlain Chocolates Flagship Store & Cafe offers chocolates and confections including truffles, caramels, clusters, chocolate bars, and gourmet hot chocolate. The shop is run by Jim Lampman, who started making truffles, some of which are seasonal, in 1983. The company said 100% of the chocolate it uses is fair trade certified.

Source: Courtesy of Gearharts Fine Chocolates via Yelp

Virginia: Gearharts Fine Chocolates
> Location: Charlottesville and Richmond

If you like chocolate and wine, Gearharts Fine Chocolates can help you with that. The Virginia chocolatier sells Pod and Vine, a trio of artisanal chocolates crafted with premium Virginia wines and our signature dark chocolate blend. The store is helmed by Tim Gearhart who opened the shop in 2001 and has been among the pioneers in the artisan chocolate movement in Virginia. Gearhart’s culinary career began in the kitchens of the Marine Corps. He trained in pastry at the Culinary Institute of America and worked on a dude ranch in Wyoming and in a castle in England. Most of Gearhart’s creations can be purchased in 16- or 32-piece assortments.


Source: Photo by Mohib Q. via Yelp

Washington: Intrigue Chocolate
> Location: Seattle

Intrigue Chocolate’s owners are Aaron Barthel and Karl Mueller. Barthel is a chef whose career path began as a farmer, then transitioned to botanist, brewer, baker, and finally chocolate maker. The owners say on their website that “We want you to feel nurtured, edified, and inspired to share your experiences with others.” The shop features chocolate beverages, seasonal truffles, and spiced chocolate bars.

Source: Courtesy of Luke B. via Yelp

West Virginia: Holl’s Handcrafted Swiss Chocolates
> Location: Charleston and Vienna

Holl’s Handcrafted Swiss Chocolates is what it says it is – makers of time-honored Swiss chocolate. The family-owned company was founded by Fritz Holl, who came to the U.S. in 1958 after apprenticing at his uncle’s conditorei, a combination pastry shop, chocolate shop, and café. Holl came to America to work for a dairy company in Ohio. After he retired, he continued to make chocolate for friends. In 1986 he founded Holl’s Chocolates. His first customer was a wine shop that sold 400 pounds of his chocolate in eight months. The company was off and running. Holl’s son and daughter-in-law run the shop and strive to maintain the quality and service standards set by Fritz and his wife, Elisabeth.

Source: Courtesy of Sean M. via Yelp

Wisconsin: Wilmar Chocolates
> Location: Appleton

Wilbur and Mary Jane Srnka opened Wilmar Candies in the fall of 1956. The name of the store comes from the combination of their first names. They sold the business to the Garvey family in 1984. Along with the sale came a one-year apprenticeship, during which the Srnkas passed on their recipes and advice to the new owners. In 1990, the company name was changed to Wilmar Chocolates, a nod to the shop’s most-loved item. New recipes were added to the traditional chocolate lineup. Wilmar now makes over 60 chocolate products, among them vanilla or chocolate oysters; football-themed caramels, meltaways, and other delights wrapped in cello and tied with a bow; and Christmas white almond bark.


Source: Courtesy of Rob W. via Yelp

Wyoming: Meeteetse Chocolatier
> Location: Meeteetse

Proprietor Tim Kellogg, a chocolatier in a cowboy hat, got his start making truffles and brownies to sell at the Cody Stampede in 2004 to raise money for a new saddle (this is the Cowboy State after all). He took to chocolate-making and today produces numerous kinds of tablettes (the French term for bars), truffles, and barks, as well as four kinds of brownies. The truffles come in flavors such as eggnog, focaccia, huckleberry, and jalapeño.

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