We’re on a bit of a sweet kick, and currently have our sights set on chocolate! And why wouldn’t we? Almost everyone loves chocolate – so much so that it has become one of the most popular food types and flavors in the world. From Empire, Michigan to Kansas City, Missouri, here are the Midwest’s best, most forward-thinking chocolatiers:
Grocer’s Daughter Chocolate | Empire, MI
A small, family-owned business, Grocer’s Daughter Chocolate is located on the picturesque shores of Lake Michigan where their love for rich, dark chocolate and a passion for local foods inspire truffle recipes and more. Using all-natural and organic ingredients, owners Mimi, DC and Jody infuse recipes with edible flowers and herbs, then wrapping them in compostable bags and recycled materials to minimize the impact on our natural environment. Travels throughout Europe and Latin America influenced these confectionary marvels.
Chocolate for the Spirit | Carmel, IN
Indianapolis’s own chocolate master was spurred to a career in chocolate creativity by a vision she had while on a retreat in Arizona. Now, owner Julie Bolejack creates rare delicacies, including one of the rarest chocolates: Pure Nacional. Thought to be extinct, the taste is floral with a persistent mellow richness that soothes the palette, lacking any bitter overtones.
Cocoa Dolce | Wichita, KS
Realizing that her corporate career was no longer a passion, Beth Tully, master chocolatier of Cocoa Dolce, switched paths and began training at Ecole Chocolat’s Professional Chocolatier program where she quickly earned her masters. Now, Cocoa Dolce scours the world for the finest ingredients and then blends creativity, passion and playfulness to form sensual, decadent chocolate experiences.
Chocolat Céleste | Saint Paul, MN
After apprenticing with a Master Chocolatier in Vancouver, Mary Leonard came back to Minnesota where she uses a combination of natural talent for cooking, world-class training and a degree in food science as a foundation for her boutique shop, Chocolat Céleste. Using only fresh ingredients from local farms, imported European chocolate sourced from the best cacao growers in the world, and zero preservatives, Leonard produces unique handcrafted artisan chocolates.
K’ul Chocolate | Minneapolis, MN
Following a bout of cancer that he eventually overcame, Peter Kelsey, owner of K’ul Chocolate set out to do two things in life: make great food and maintain a healthy lifestyle; K’ul is where those passions intersect. Peter’s mission is to create all-natural, functional chocolate bars made from simple ingredients that are sourced from cacao farms driven by sustainable practices. The name K’ul is the Mayan word for energy – directly what Ku’l bars are crafted to provide you with – the ability to do more and do it better.
Candinas | Madison, WI
Since 1994, Candinas Chocolate has shown a dedication to the finest confections by using fresh ingredients, domestic or imported, and bypassing artificial methods that allows the creations to speak for themselves. Markus Candinas, owner of Candinas, attempts to generate the freshest confections composed of a harmonious blend of rich flavors and smooth textures.
Bon Bon Bon | Detroit, MI
Backed by the belief that good people deserve good chocolate, the people at Bon Bon Bon serve the local residents quality product with no frills. Behind the scenes, internationally trained artisan craftsmen use classic French techniques, local ingredients, and artistic creativity to create flavors that range from stately to strange, familiar to exotic, and anything in between.
Elbow Chocolates | Kansas City, MO
Pastry chef Christopher Elbow crafts beautiful hand-painted chocolates that come in creative flavors like banana Foster and caramel apple. Elbow also makes great chocolate bars, including the No. 6 Dark Rocks, made with dark chocolate and pop rocks.