1. The Chocolate Lab, Calgary.
Photo, The Chocolate Lab.
The bonbons and truffles at Calgary’s The Chocolate Lab look like works of art, with delicate, colourfully designed shells. And the treats are as delicious as they are gorgeous — they’ve won multiple prizes at the Canadian Chocolate Awards. Feel like judging for yourself? You can order the “2017 Competition Set” from their website, which features six of their award-winning truffles and bonbons, including gold medal–winner Orange Dreamsicle.
2. Temper Pastry, Vancouver.
Photos, Temper Pastry.
Temper Pastry in West Vancouver servers up a selection of chocolates, cakes and other confections like toffee and chocolate bark. After training with renowned pastry chef and chocolatier Thomas Haas, owner and pastry chef Steven Hodge moved back to the neighbourhood where he grew up to open his own shop. His cakes look like beautiful abstract paintings and range in serving size from individual up to 80.
3. Sweet Lollapalooza, Edmonton.
Photo, Jimmy Jeong.
If you’re looking to try some of the rarest chocolate on Earth, you’ll find it here at Edmonton’s Sweet Lollapalooza. The store, which opened in 2009, is one of the only chocolatiers in the world (and the only one in Alberta) to sell the rare Pure Nacional chocolate from Peru. Sweet Lollapalooza has even won awards for this chocolate, which is 68% dark and features notes of roasted nuts and a soft floral finish.
4. Rousseau Chocolatier, Halifax.
Photo, Rousseau Chocolatier.
After working in chocolate shops in Europe for several years, husband and wife team Julien and Nathalie Rousseau moved back to Canada and opened Halifax’s Rousseau Chocolatier in 2014. The duo only uses Belgian chocolate and sources many of their other ingredients locally. Everything is made on site, and the store features a viewing window where customers can watch their treats being made. Depending on the time of the year, Rousseau offers seasonal flavours including Basil ‘n’ Lime, Lavender and Fall Spice. They also offer delicate macarons in a variety of flavours.
5. Newfoundland Chocolate Company, Newfoundland.
Photo, The Newfoundland Chocolate Company.
What started as a hobby for couple Brent Smith and Christina Dove is now the full-time Newfoundland Chocolate Company. Located in a historic building on Duckworth Street, the NCC celebrates all things local. The artwork on the packaging depicts local destinations (with descriptions on the inside), and the chocolates themselves include local ingredients like blueberries from Brigus, the blueberry capital of Newfoundland, and local sea salt. They even have a line of chocolate bars with wrappers that features different, uniquely Newfoundlandian sayings like “Yes b’y” and “Oh me nerves.”
6. Delight Chocolate, Toronto.
Photo, Delight Chocolate.
This little boutique shop, located in Toronto’s west-end Junction neighbourhood, is known for their use of only top-quality, ethical ingredients. Owners Jeff Brown and Jennifer Rashleigh source all their chocolate from Certified Organic Fair Trade farms in the Dominican Republic, their dairy from Harmony Organic in Ontario, as well as other local ingredients. In addition to their hand-decorated chocolates, they also make their own ice cream, caramels, cakes, pastries and more.
7. Les Chocolats de Chloé, Montreal.
Photo, Charles Briand.
Les Chocolats de Chloé is a boutique shop located a stone’s throw away from Parc La Fontaine in downtown Montreal. Much like Rousseau Chocolatier in Halifax, this store features a large window into the kitchen that allows the customers to watch the chocolates being made. All products (truffles, bars, drinking chocolate, marshmallows and more) are made on-site using Valrhona chocolate — a premium chocolate company known for their superior quality and high ethical standards.
8. Aschenti Cocoa, Winnipeg.
Photo, Aschenti Cocoa.
Aschenti Cocoa in Winnipeg is a true bean-to-bar company. While their store is located in Winnipeg, they grow and source all their cocoa on small local farms in Cameroon. Aschenti works with the farmers during the entire process, training them in sustainable agricultural practices, and using a time-honoured technique to harvest the cacao pods and then ferment the beans. The rest of the chocolate-making process (roasting, winnowing, grinding, conching and tempering) is done on location in Winnipeg. And Aschenti works with local suppliers as much as possible for the other ingredients in their chocolates.
9. Alicja Confections, Ottawa.
Photo, Alicja Confections.
As a kid, owner and chocolatier Alicja Buchowicz didn’t really like chocolate — she could never find a flavour that suited her. Thankfully, her father was a chocolatier, and with his help she started making her own. Now, she runs Ottawa’s Alicja Confections and, in addition to chocolate making, she also designs all of the packaging. Some of her fun flavour creations include Cereal & Milk (white chocolate with cereal and marshmallow), Gone Fishing (milk chocolate with gummy fish candies) and Ramen Bowl (milk chocolate with dried ramen).