As the world moves towards an increased interest in transparent ingredient labeling, there’s been a fundamental shift in the chocolate industry. Long gone are the days of plastic-wrapped, mass-produced candy bars cutting it when it comes to a sweet tooth craving. Today, consumers want confectionary products focused on sustainability, with locally sourced fruits and nuts, and let’s face it, romantic, Instagram-worthy packaging. Cue artisan chocolatiers popping up from Los Angeles to London. Here, Savoir Flair rounds up the best of the best small-batch chocolate masters, from those producing rhubarb and cream bon bons to Paleo salted pecan bars.
This New York-based chocolate brand is located along the Brooklyn Navy Yards. All the confections that brothers Rick and Michael Mast create are equally as trendy as the brand’s hipster headquarters. Each pretty packaged chocolate bar reveals uniquely flavored slabs of deliciousness, such as sheep milk and olive oil flavors. A favorite of the fashion set, the brand recently collaborated with designer Marc Jacobs for a special limited-edition line of Valentine’s Day chocolate made with smoked cacao and goat milk.
One of the trendiest chocolate shops in the world, Compartes in Los Angeles was founded in 1950 and revamped by the chocolatier mastermind Jonathan Grahm. The gourmet chocolates, which feature ingredients sourced from South America combined with locally sourced fruits and nuts from the California farmers’ market, are enjoyed by Hollywood A-listers including Angelina Jolie, Oprah Winfrey, Nicole Kidman, and Steven Spielberg, among others. From vegan dark chocolate bars to exotic truffles with traditional ganache, every chocolate is infused with flair and style.
Swoon over the stunning creations by French chocolatier, Patrick Rogers, as these chocolates are bursting with passion and complexity. In 2000, Rogers was awarded the prestigious Meilleur Ouvrier de France for his artistry and chocolate mastery. Customers can expect to find a fine collection of chocolates with hints of fruity, floral, tangy, and woody notes. Whimsical and creative, the boutique store also doubles as an art gallery.
Made using the highest-quality ingredients in Hokkaido, Japan, Royce chocolates have been loved by chocolate enthusiasts all over the globe since the 1980s. Try the popular White Nama Chocolate, made with premium green tea leaves and tea-flavored chocolate powder. The best part? Royce is available at Galleries Lafayette in The Dubai Mall.
Founded by Louise Nason in 2006, Melt is a go-to destination on the British chocolate scene. Shops in Notting Hill and Holland Park offer customers the unique experience to watch bars, from milk chocolate blackberry and cinnamon to dark chocolate violet and rose, get created right before their eyes. Plus, we’re big fans of the cheerful packaging.
This homegrown San Francisco company strives to bring out the best in every cocoa bean. Dandelion chocolate, a bean-to-bar chocolate factory, specialises in roasting, crafting, and molding small batches of artisanal chocolate. Opt for the dark chocolate Mantuano, Venezuela bar with notes of roasted almond and dulce de leche, or the Ambanja, Madagascar with hints of raspberry jam and citrus.
Nathan Miller Chocolate
When pastry and dessert chef Nathan Miller decided to jump into the world of chocolate manufacturing, his creativity flourished and a line of 15 delectable chocolate bars were born, from gingerbread and buttermilk to salt and wafer bars. Based in Pennsylvania, this quaint shop prides itself on fair trade and ethically sourced cocoa beans.
ChocoVivo creates dark chocolate using a mortar and pestle approach, drawing from the techniques of the Mayans and Aztecs from over 2,000 years ago. Taking natural ingredients and spices straight from Mother Nature, products feature 65% to 100% cacao bars, chocolate powder, and creamy nut butters for simple and delicious blends such as Paleo coffee and salted butter pecan bars.