Food

18 Great Canadian Chocolate Stores That Ship

For Valentine's Day—or just a little pick-me-up.

Good on any occasion, chocolate is an ever-popular pick-me-up that’s often as beautifully crafted as it is delicious. Gilded with edible gold or Jackson Pollock-ed with coloured cocoa butter, the sumptuous treats are delightful whether they’re infused with fruits and spices, filled with silky ganache, purees, creams and praline, oozing with chewy caramel, or formed into embellished bars. From single-origin chocolates to customized blends, these local independent chocolate shops are sure to satisfy any melt-in-the-mouth sugar cravings. Bonus: they also ship across Canada.

Alicja Confections

829 Bank St., Ottawa, alicjaconfections.com

Second-generation chocolatier Alicja Buchowicz, the creator of the attractively packaged postcard chocolate bar, has become known for using chocolate as a canvas for creating whimsical combination bars. Besides chocolate-coated dragées, items include candy bars like the Ramen Bowl (milk chocolate and dried ramen), striking Cereal & Milk (white chocolate with cereal and marshmallows) and the cheeky Everything But The Kitchen Sink (caramelized milk chocolate chock-full of chips, pretzels, popcorn, candies, gummies, dried fruit, nuts, caramel and sprinkles). There’s even a monthly Confections Club where subscribers have the chance to taste the newest flavours before they’re released to the general public.

Anne of Green Gables Chocolates

100 Queen St., Charlottetown, annechocolates.com

Aficionados of old-fashioned candies would be thrilled with these simple, handmade chocolate confections. Named after P.E.I.’s famous redhead, the chocolate shop carries fan-favourite Chocolate Sweeties (milk chocolate enrobed old fashioned brown sugar fudge) plus other sugary goodies like Chocolate Caramels, Bosom Buddies (truffles made with Island cream) to hearty bite-sized Cuthbert’s chocolate Coconut Cups.

 

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Beta5

409 Industrial Ave., Vancouver, shop.beta5chocolates.com

Contemporary and innovative, this award-winning husband-and-wife-run shop melds art and science into hand-painted artisanal treats. Although their bonbons and cream puffs are only available locally, their fun and creative polygon bars can be shipped across the country. From pop rocks to the Queen of Hearts (freeze-dried raspberries, candied Earl Grey tea, white chocolate), there are also limited-release bars developed in collaboration with other brands, chefs or personalities. The latest includes the vivid Won’t Ube Mine bar made with Vancouver-based chef and Top Chef Canada contestant Mark Singson which combines ube (purple yam), white chocolate, corn with–quintessentially Canadian–Hawkins Cheezies.

 

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Chocolatier Constance Popp

180 Provencher Blvd., Winnipeg, constancepopp.com

Made daily using single-origin chocolate and ingredients like maple syrup, beer, caraway seeds and bacon, the bonbons made by Winnipeg’s first bean-to-bar maker change seasonally. Besides mouthwatering combinations like maple buttercreams, red beet truffles, whiskey bars and grapefruit-basil bonbons, the award-winning chocolate shop is also behind sumptuous delicacies like the wafer-thin Prairie Cow Pie–a blissful combination of Dulcey caramel chocolate, caramel, chocolate honey, pecans, premium dark and milk chocolates. The lauded Manitobar, however, tops a crunchy base made of hemp, sunflower seeds, flaxseed, honey and caramelized flakes with a soft gianduja and praline truffle layer, that’s all blanketed in dark premium chocolate.

Chocolats Geneviève Grandbois

1659 Rue Ontario E, 162 Rue Saint Viateur O, 138 Atwater Ave., Montréal, chocolatsgg.com

Dedicated to the art of chocolate making, these handmade chocolates from this chocolate maker go beyond using traditional methods and local-when-possible ingredients (including honey produced by their own bees). Owner Geneviève Grandbois’ interest in quality control, sustainable agriculture and self-sufficiency includes using beans from a cocoa plantation she bought in Palmar, Costa Rica. Fans stock up on her signature dark chocolate squares that can be packed in a stunning leather gift box. The store’s modern-classic collection includes a maple line in bar form, as truffles or via Le Rocher–a giant bonbon with a creamy maple filling speckled with maple sugar-caramelized pecans and an almond and dark chocolate coating.

 

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The Chocolate Lab

202D Centre St. S., Calgary, chocolatelab.ca

Far from ordinary, the handcrafted bonbons and truffles are known for their unique flavour pairings and their vibrant, colourful shell designs. Husband-and-wife team Dallas and Eva Southcott offer more than 30 wildly original flavours that are inspired by past travels, pairing fresh ingredients like locally roasted espresso, honey or Sichuan pepper with black currant caramel, buttered popcorn and white chocolate ganache, or rose-infused ruby chocolate ganache. Besides the limited heart-shaped collection, you can build a custom box with the International Chocolate Awards-winning Dark Passion, Orange Dreamsicle, Cuppa Joe and Lychee Rose, before stocking up on their extensive collection of cocktail and booze-infused treats like their Scotch on the Rocks, which infuses the chocolatier’s signature dark chocolate ganache with 16-year-old single malt on a layer of pop rocks.

ChocoSol Traders

1131 St. Clair Ave., Toronto, chocosoltraders.com

Recognized for their direct-trade sourcing practices and rustic approach to chocolate making, the dark chocolates made by this Mexican-influenced craft chocolate maker are completely vegan as well as being nut-, soy-, gluten- and preservative-free. Staying true to their “good for mind, body, and soil” mantra, the environmentally conscious business uses simple, whole-food ingredients like raw vanilla pods and coconut butter in the bean-to-bar pedal stone-ground bars, plus “omnidegradable” packaging. Their Rustico bars come in classic flavours including Coffee Crunch, 5 Chili Bullet, and unsweetened Gratitude, while the limited-edition Fino collection features sell-outs such as Mon Cherry D’Amour and the unique Jaguar line that’s made using Oaxacan albino cacao.

 

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État de choc

6466 Boulevard St-Laurent, Montréal, etatdechoc.com

Using couverture chocolate sourced with the utmost care, this luxury chocolate shop’s retail lineup includes hot chocolate mixes, elegant ingot-shaped bonbons and their multiple Canadian Chocolatier Competition-winning chocolate bars such as the maple and fir flavoured Tablette Sapin Érable or the corn and chilli pepper containing Maïs Piment. They also serve as a one-stop-shop for bean-to-bar chocolates from other Montreal-based producers including Avanna, Qantu and Chocolats Monarque.

Hummingbird Chocolate

9 Houston Dr., Almonte, hummingbirdchocolate.com

Chocolate makers Drew and Erica Gilmore have won more than 90 international awards (and counting) in the short time they’ve been producing their handmade single-origin chocolate bars. Those accolades include the prestigious Golden Bean from the London Academy of Chocolate for having the best chocolate in the world, the Hispaniola 70 percent dark chocolate bar. Made from Trinitarian beans grown in the northern highlands of the Dominican Republic, the Hispaniola expresses deep cherry and light citrus notes. Like Hummingbird’s other bean-to-bar chocolates, it’s also made in small batches using direct-trade organic beans and a multi-step process that takes over a month. Other bestsellers include the Fleur de Sel 70 percent that combines the Hispaniola with Vancouver Island Salt Co. sea salt, Toffee & Nib bar and salted caramels enrobed in dark chocolate.

Lecavalier Petrone

1977 Rue Centre suite 100, Montréal, lecavalierpetrone.com

Co-founders Chloé Migneault-Lecavalier and Loïse Desjardins-Petrone are behind this workshop-boutique where chocolate, pastry and design converge in the form of speckled hand-painted bonbon bars. Bursting with flavour, the signature collection includes popular combinations like sea buckthorn and caramelized white chocolate, blackberry with Tasmanian pepper, plus almond and hazelnut praline. Specializing in tailor-made confections that are perfect for any occasion, the duo have created eight exclusive flavours for Valentine’s that includes mouth-watering combinations such as pistachio and lime praline ganache, tonka bean caramel and crunchy pecan praline, and basil ganache and mandarin fruit paste.

 

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Master Chocolat

5325 4 St. SE, Calgary, masterchocolat.com

Highly regarded Master Chocolatier Bernard Callebaut is no stranger to creating fine chocolates; the fourth-generation chocolatier is founder of esteemed Chocolaterie Bernard Callebaut (recognized by its elegant copper boxes). The father of Calgary’s high-end chocolate is back with Master Chocolat, where he continues to craft chocolate confections that also includes a vegan and a no-sugar added line. Choose from chocolate bars, chocolate-covered nuts and treats like brownies and Nanaimo bars, or create your own box from the classic lineup that might include La Mer (salted caramel), Orange (Grand Marnier and orange peel), Mint, Raspberry (raspberry puree in fresh cream) or Winston (single malt Scotch infused grape puree).

Newfoundland Chocolate Company

166 Duckworth St., St. John’s, newfoundlandchocolatecompany.com

Inspired by the province’s diverse landscape, these handmade chocolates are an ode to everything that’s of Newfoundland and Labrador. Crafted from local ingredients from sea salt to fresh wild berries such as partridgeberries and bakeapples, their chocolate bonbons are even named after notable places, landmarks and individuals within the province. In addition to their signature boxed chocolates, which are packaged according to themes—including a series using Newfoundland Screech (rum), there’s also a deep line of candy bars that are wrapped with artwork depicting iconic row houses, bar and pub-rich George Street or Newfoundlander sayings.

 

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ONYX Chocolates

617 Gerrard St. E., Toronto, onyxchocolates.com

Sporting a crisp lacquered chocolate shell, these small-batch bonbons present like jewels in their custom-fitted box. With fillings that range from yuzu pine to warming five-spice, fun and subtle hazelnut praline pop rocks to rich loquat-flavoured Pei Pak Koa, these combinations help transport taste buds around the world (even if we can’t actually travel). There are eye-catching chocolate bars studded with Mi Goreng or delightful blends like the International Chocolate Awards-winning Black Sesame Yuzu, but for a true taste sensation, consider building your own box. The latter may include Hojicha Matcha, a dainty bonbon that hides nuggets of chewy mochi in a chocolate ganache infused with the charcoal-roasted green tea’s intoxicating flavour; meanwhile, Mango Lassi, Tom Yum Caramel, Salted Egg Black Sesame, and Pandan Kaya are big nods to the punchy flavours of South and Southeast Asia.

 

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Rousseau Chocolatier

5151 South St., Halifax, rousseauchocolatier.ca

Specializing in handcrafted chocolates, husband and wife team Julien Rousseau-Dumarcet and Nathalie Morin opened this Halifax gem after working for award-winning chocolatiers in Europe. Customers can see how the team—who make everything on site—incorporates local-when-possible whole ingredients and real fruits into their bonbons through a viewing window in the store. Pick from the single-origin bars sourced from six countries, photogenic artisan chocolate bars, chocolate slates like the dark chocolate cranberry with maple flakes to chocolate-dipped meringues, artisanal marshmallows and nuts. And if there’s still room in the checkout cart, consider adding seasonally inspired confections like the PB&J or hot (local) rum toddy chocolate bonbon.

 

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SOMA Chocolatemaker

32 Tank House Ln., 443 King St. W., 77 Brock Ave., Toronto, somachocolate.com

Celebrated internationally, chocolatiers David Castellan and Cynthia Leung are a fixture when it comes to amassing awards for their bean-to-bar chocolate. Sourcing cacao beans from all over the world, the team hand-sorts, roasts, conchs, and magically transforms the chocolate into an extensive line of treats. There are cookies, drinking chocolate, gourmet bonbons from an artful trio of piped gianduja truffles and preservative-free caramel and praline truffles to the impressive, life-sized birch branch filled with International Chocolate Awards-winning gianduja and sour cherry jelly. Their Revolution line features bite-sized “tumbles” of chocolate-coated tidbits like roasted cacao nibs, macadamia nuts coated in layers of yuzu-lemon chocolate and caramel, or soft and chewy chunks of Thai coconut meat that are coated in white then milk chocolate layers and dusted with cocoa powder that resembles tiny coconuts. For Valentine’s, there’s a chocolate and cherry truffle heart that features a crunchy wildflower honey sable biscuit base.

 

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Sweet Lollapalooza

10155 102 St. NW, Edmonton, sweetlollapalooza.com

Australian chef-turned-chocolatier Brett Roy’s fêted chocolates are more than pieces of edible art—the small-batch bonbons made daily have won more than 90 international chocolate awards. Taking up to three days to make, the handcrafted premium chocolates use the highest quality cacao, including the rare Pure Nacional chocolate from Peru. The latter, once thought to be extinct, has delicate roasted nut notes, soft floral aroma and intense, non-bitter flavours. Containing no added preservatives, sugars or other additives, the shop’s collection includes crowd-favourites like the tender chocolate Salted Caramels and Passion Paradou—a bonbon inspired by the pavlova made by Roy’s mother—enrobes passion fruit-infused milk chocolate ganache in dark chocolate.

 

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Thomas Haas

2539 W Broadway, Vancouver, 604-736-1848, thomashaas.com

Named one of the top 10 pastry chefs in America by Pastry Art & Design Magazine, this fourth-generation pâtissier is renowned for creating sweets that are as visually captivating as they are delicious. A local favourite for handmade chocolates, truffles, chocolate bars, confections and pastries, they even have a no-broken-chocolate guarantee for all shipped orders. A new line is geared towards dark chocolate lovers, focusing on the bold and bittersweet flavours of the brand’s own bean-to-bar 69.3 percent dark chocolate (that’s made from Mexican and Costa Rican cocoa beans). Choose from the assortment of products and packages or pick up the ultimate gift box that packs all of the above with chocolate sparkle cookies and classic hot chocolate.

Those Girls at the Market

812 16 St W, Saskatoon, thosegirlsatthemarket.com

With backgrounds in health and fitness, the raw cacao chocolate bars handcrafted by sisters Julianna and Ying Tan are made using organic ingredients including cacao paste and maple syrup. Coming in an assortment of flavours, the ethically and sustainably sourced bars are available in classic flavours like mint or cranberry sea salt to monthly changing numbers such as ultra-creamy avocado, candied apple to chilli-mango coconut. The latter is a coconut chocolate that’s loaded with mango chunks and kissed with cayenne pepper, meanwhile seasonally appropriate flavours like the cinnamon heart use organic cinnamon and a sprinkle of coconut sugar to achieve that coveted sweet and spicy taste.

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