Chocolate is a hot topic any time of the year, but especially now that Valentine's Day is coming. I love Lindt just as much as the next person, but I wanted to know where I get could get locally made chocolate. Here are locals top picks.
Personally I'd love a little bit of everything. It would even be fun to do a taste testing activity with your loved one or family where they have to guess the brand or select a favorite. Hm....think I'll be going off shopping for chocolate soon!
This was by far the top recommended spot to get chocolates. If you want to see what they look like up close and my tasting (of both cupcakes and chocolates), read my post here. For a truly local Upper Valley chocolate experience this shop on Main St. in Hanover is a great place!
Burdick's of Walpole
Not only does Burdick make cute specialty chocolates like the mouse and penguin, but also lots of unique flavored bon bons. They also have a cozy cafe in Walpole where you can enjoy European desserts, warm drinks, and chocolate (or dine in their restaurant next door). I wrote about my experience at the cafe and tasting their chocolates here.
More Locally Made Recommendations
This was another hit with the locals. One person said it was even worth the drive to Burlington to get some! Now that's a compliment! They have a wide selection of chocolates: fruit, nut, chocolate bark, caramels, clusters, and peanut butter. Plenty of gift ideas too.
I think this should be next on my list to try. Laughing Moon is a chocolatier out of Stowe, but they have an online store. They sell bars, truffles, chocolate pops, clusters, smores chocolate, pretzel dipped, orange dipped and more. I particularly like the peppermint heart shaped bark for Valentine's day.
William Winand in Woodstock is our own local chocolatier. They make chocolates with Vermont cream to make French inspired chocolates. They look beautiful! Enjoy truffles, French macarons, and bonbons. I'm all about the vanilla passion fruit macaron or chocolate caramel macaron. If you have a chocolate connoisseur in the family, this may be a great place to get chocolates with French flavors like Force Noir (strong dark), Lemon Almond Praline, Cannelle (cinnamon), and Cafe Noir (chocolate coffee).
Big Picture Farm
Big Picture Farm in Townshed, VT has won national awards for its caramels and now sells organic chocolate. What makes this chocolatier and confectioner unique is that they use goat's milk from their own goats for their chocolates. I love the outline of the goats on their chocolates. They even make cute chocolate turtles!
Dirty Cowboy Cafe
The Dirt Cowboy Cafe in Hanover has a chocolate display in their store for you to purchase tasty confections. The best part? They make their own! I would love to see flavors and more information about this on their Facebook or website (I didn't see any when I looked.) Thanks to a reader for telling me this. Update: They are taking a break from chocolate making when I called Dec. 2018.
Mill Fudge Factory
Only an hour away, check out Mill Fudge Factory in Bristol, NH. Enjoy chocolate toffee bark with Gharirdelli Chocolate, chocolate raspberry fudge, or maple fudge. They even have sugar free options. Okay, while this isn't chocolate truffles, there's certainly a lot of chocolate to be found!
Red Kite Candy
I still remember the first time I had Red Kite Candy at a sample station at King Arthur Flour event. Oh my goodness. I wanted a bag of the caramels. These delicious treats are made in Bradford, VT, but you can get them in other locations around the Upper Valley. They also sell nougat with nuts, and toffee chocolate bark.
Dancing Crane Chocolates
Diana Duhaime makes her own chocolate in Coasta Rica where she grows her own cocao plants and processes the chocolate from scratch. You can read about the labor intensive process and her story in this great article. You can find her chocolates at Dan and Whit’s, VINS, Lyme Country Store and Long River Gallery and Gifts. See her Facebook page here.
Stores to get Local Chocolate
A top chocolate destination while doing your other groceries. I just went in yesterday and they have a lot of cute Valentine's displays and lots of local chocolates and candy company selections like Lake Champlain, Red Kite Candy, and Burke Mountain. One local recommended Burke Mountain's maple mocha.
Mike's Store is Hartland is one of my favorite stops for a sandwich or to grab some local beer for my husband. I did not know they also sell local chocolate too. You can find Lake Champlain, Burke Mountain, and Red Kite Candy there. I'd throw in a few Lindt truffles too they sell there while you're at it.
Something Sweet is a chocolate and candy shop in the Powerhouse Mall. I got some for Christmas and they were lovely, just as one would expect. I don't know where the chocolates are made or if they're local, but I certainly thought they were good.
There are other places as well to buy local chocolate while you're out and about in the area. King Arthur, Dan and Whits, Jake's and Singleton's in Quechee, and the Woodstock Farmer's Market store all have a great selection on speciality chocolate.
If you're looking for more of a day trip, Van Otis chocolates in Manchester was the top chocolatier in NH in 2016. This is definitely on my to do list to try. If you're looking for Valentine's gifts you can order online. I personally think the chocolate high heel shoe is really cool! You can see more local chocolate makers with a couple hours here.
If you're looking for ways to celebrate Valentine's Day beyond chocolate, cards and candy, I wrote a post here.