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The USA's 12 Best Chocolatiers and Chocolate Shops

Courtesy of Theo Chocolates
Courtesy of Theo Chocolates
In the last decade or so, the artisan chocolate scene in the USA has exploded. It seems that Americans are tired of their sub-par, mass-produced chocolate, and are starting a revolution. All across the country, small chocolatiers are going back to the roots of the craft, and creating small-batch confections with heart and intent. We look at 12 of those companies that are changing the rules and redefining chocolate in America.

Mast Brothers

The owners of Mast Brothers are, in fact, a duo of brothers, committed to the craft of chocolate. The two have a flair for creativity and free spirit that they bring into their artisan chocolate brand. The Mast brothers were pioneers in the bean-to-bar movement, starting from raw beans, roasting them, and being involved in every moment of the chocolate-making process. The company is headquartered in Brooklyn, New York, where the the brothers and their staff oversee every step in the chocolate-making process, including packaging and wrapping each chocolate bar by hand. Right next to the Brooklyn flagship store and factory is a brew bar that serves delightful beverages, featuring their chocolates. Earlier in 2015, the company also opened a store in London.

Vosges

Perhaps the largest company on our list, Vosges Haute Chocolate has risen dramatically in popularity since its beginning in 1997. The company makes chocolate bars and truffles that are as pretty to the eye as they are delicious to the taste. The chocolates are inspired by the vibrant flavors and experiences of life and travel. Vosges is based out of Chicago, Illinois, but gathers inspiration from the farthest reaches of the earth. The result is a chocolate experience unlike any other. Some of the most creative flavor combinations include a cinnamon and sugar bacon bar, and an African red tea with tart cherry bar. For a further enhanced experience, customers can order a box of truffles with a perfectly paired bottle of wine to go with them.

Jacques Torres

Jacques Torres is truly a chocolate lover. He uses his expert knowledge, gained from an impressive background as a pastry chef, and creates culinary works of art, using his favorite ingredients. From any of the New York locations, guests can nosh on treats like ice cream and their special hot chocolate, which contains a blend of dark chocolate and fiery chili pepper. Jacques Torres chocolates and treats are available in a number of physical locations and online. Though the company has seen a huge amount of growth, each ingredient is still made from scratch, ensuring the highest possible quality and craftsmanship.

Theo Chocolate

The folks at Theo Chocolate are not only concerned with producing the very best chocolates, but also in protecting the environment in the process. The Theo factory, located in Seattle, uses only organic and fair trade ingredients in everything they make. In fact, all of their products are even GMO-free, and the company takes painstaking measures to ensure that they are being environmentally and socially responsible. But when it come right down to it, the taste of the chocolate speaks for itself. The attention to quality ingredients shines through to deliver a sensational chocolate experience. Theo also offers classes to teach their customers about chocolate-making techniques and methods.

Courtesy of Theo Chocolates

Rogue Chocolatier

Rogue Chocolatier has been heralded as a leader of the chocolate pack since its beginning nearly 10 years ago. The company focuses on simplicity, allowing the the true flavors and subtle notes of the chocolate to shine through. By using just cocoa and sugar—no cocoa butter—the resulting product is honest and uncomplicated. Rogue Chocolatier is based out of a small town in Massachusetts and still does things the old-fashioned way. All of the chocolate products are produced with hands-on, attentive craftsmanship. The folks at Rogue Chocolatier are presenting chocolate in a refreshingly pure and simple way.

Amano

In the heart of the American West, Amano is making artisan chocolate that is worthy of applause. Just 40 miles south of Salt Lake City, the company began nearly 10 years ago, when the owners were looking for a high-quality chocolate product in the USA. After extensive research into the origins, harvesting, roasting, and preparing of chocolate, Amano was born to encompass the very best from every step. Their cocoa comes from across the world: Ecuador, Dominican Republic, Peru, Papua New Guinea, etc. From all of their exotic origins, the beans are lovingly cared for and processed to become incredibly high-quality chocolate bars.

Patric Chocolate

With accolades from the likes of Gourmet Magazine, Food and Wine Magazine, and Good Food Awards, Patric Chocolate has established itself in the world of craft chocolate-making, and it isn’t going anywhere. The company began in 2006, making chocolate bars, with an eye for quality, craftsmanship, and sustainability. Since its early years, Patric has been involved with organizations like Slow Food Nation, and Craft Chocolate Makers of America, furthering the growth and education of the delicious world of carefully and intentionally made chocolate. Patric makes intriguing flavored chocolate bars, that have customers enamored with their unique flavors. Fan favorites include raspberry-balsamic pear, black licorice, and red coconut curry.

Chocolopolis

Chocolopolis is a little bit different than some of the other brands on our list. It is not a bean-to-bar chocolate making company, but the experts at Chocolopolis are curators of an impressive collection of craft chocolate from all over the world. As chocolatiers, Chocolopolis makes decadent drinking chocolates, creative bars, and gorgeous confections. The Seattle-based shop dreams up combinations like the dark orchard bar: hazelnuts, dried cherries, dried blueberries, vanilla sea salt, and dark chocolate. Chocolate lovers need look no farther than this specialty shop for everything you can imagine, and then some.

Castronovo Chocolate

To Castronovo Chocolate exploring the depth of flavor and discovering the natural integrity of the chocolate is paramount to their business, and their love of chocolate. They do that by slowing down, and savoring the process of making chocolate, allowing the essence of the beans to shine through. Castronovo is based out of a small town on the Eastern coast of sunny Florida, but their popularity has grown across the entire country. The company has won multiple prestigious awards for their exceptional products. Beyond making simple, single-origin bars, the company also makes a variety of truffles, and seasonal chocolates: offering something for everyone.

Courtesy of Palace Coffee

Askinosie Chocolate

Askinosie Chocolate was created in 2007, is family-owned, and run by a team that is passionate about all things chocolate. Beyond their love for chocolate, the company is also dedicated to kindness and community: establishing relationships with their farmers, neighbors, and customers. The company gets involved with the community by engaging local school children in the art of chocolate making, and the industry of buying from direct from farmers, in a program that they call, Chocolate University. Out of their factory in Springfield, Missouri, the company crafts an array of products including bars, nibs, cocoa powder, and chocolate beverages. Askinosie also makes a chocolate hazelnut spread that is so good, you’ll surely dream about it after you’ve had a try.

FIKA Chocolate

Many New Yorkers have come to know and love FIKA as a coffee, pastry, and chocolate shop. Every day, the brand serves fresh coffee, treats, and food items to customers from 15 different locations. Behind the scenes, skilled craftsmen are making much of their menu items from scratch. The company employs a master chocolatier, that hails from Europe, and makes fine, hand-made chocolate delicacies for all of the FIKA locations. One of the larger companies on our list, FIKA maintains a distinct attention to quality, making everything in-house and by hand daily. Stop by for a pick-me-up, with a cup of coffee and a sweet indulgence.

French Broad Chocolates

The small town of Asheville, NC is emerging as a foodie paradise. French Broad Chocolates has an adorable backstory that begins with a husband and wife team, in love with each other, and in love with chocolate. The dream of French Broad Chocolates actually started in Costa Rica with a small café, but after a few successful years, the couple found a comfortable home in the southeastern US. From there, the charming story has grown into one of the finest bean-to-bar chocolate companies in the country. The company now makes bars, truffles, and other treats, and serves them at their chocolate lounge in Asheville.