Celebrate Valentine’s Day with Local Chocolate

Image: Vafoodie

Valentine’s Day is one of the busiest days of the year at retail stores and restaurants, but if you want to make it special, skip the box of chocolates that came from who-knows-where and celebrate with local Virginia chocolate instead! The state has many small artisan chocolatiers who spend long hours crafting their delicious creations. This guide will help you find chocolatiers and get in touch with them to buy their goodies!

The Ultimate in Hand Crafted Bean to Bar Chocolates

Who knew that enjoying a quality dark chocolate bar could be so rewarding? For those of us in love with rich, hand-crafted chocolates, finding a handmade bar of roasted cacao beans to nibble on is as much an art experience as it is a culinary experience. Fortunately for lovers of quality artisanal food, Virginia has several bean-to-bar makers to choose from.

photo of wild blue dark chocolate bar 75% cacao package and chocolate bar with good food awards winner 22 emblem on a colorful print background.

Image: Wild Blue Chocolate

Wild Blue Chocolate

Recent winners of the Good Food Award, Wild Blue Chocolate’s owners Mike and Jessie Sever source their cocoa beans directly from artisan cooperatives, supporting their personal mission of improving farmers’ livelihoods and supporting sustainable agriculture in a very hands-on way. Starting with beans shipped directly from the source, they produce chocolate bars in exceptionally limited production runs. Wild Blue Chocolate is carried in select retailers in Richmond, Charlottesville, and Fredericksburg, Virginia. Wild Blue also offers online ordering, but hurry, Valentine’s is coming soon!

Colorful chocolate candies made by Potomac Chocolate displayed  in white paper cups on a tan background.

Image: Potomoac Chocolate

Potomac Chocolate

For over 10 years, Potomac Chocolate has been crafting 100% organic, fair trade, single-origin chocolate bars. Their small-batch craftsmanship ensures that you are receiving a product of excellence and purity. Committed to taking care of the environment and improving communities, the organic compound they source from is still produced by traditional farming methods rather than being outsourced overseas. Every purchase of a bar of Potomac Chocolate supports its mission. Purchase online, in select shops, or directly from their retail location in Occoquan, VA.

Rows of dark chocolate bars made by Cocoa Manna on a white table top

Image: Cocoa Manna

Cocoa Manna

For those in Charlottesville and D.C., there’s no better gift than a box of cocoa from Charlottesville’s own Cocoa Manna. For more than 20 years, Tammy Morrison has been blending fine single-origin chocolates with spices and dried fruits to create an incredible array of gourmet treats. Each bar is handmade on-site in their one-of-a-kind facility and shipped directly to you or your loved one. And, if you place your order by February 10th (and select 2nd-day delivery), your package will arrive just in time for V-Day!

Sweet Treats from Virginia Chocolatiers

Show your love with an over-the-top indulgence. Your sweetheart will appreciate these hand-crafted locally made chocolates from Virginia-based chocolatiers. Choose from bonbons, gift packs, and assorted boxes of chocolates, or mix up a special chocolate bar with your favorite flavors for a personalized treat that shows how much you care about someone.

Red square basket filled with packaged treats from Gearhart's Fine Chocolates nestled in red confetti in front of a wood wall

Image: Gearharts Fine Chocolates

Gearharts Chocolates

When Tim Gearhart started Gearharts Fine Chocolates in 2001, artisan chocolate was a rarity in the United States. He brought a global vision of fine chocolate making, gleaned from years of experience in professional kitchens to his Charlottesville shop. Today, the team at Gearharts Fine Chocolates creates distinctive artisan chocolates enjoyed by customers in their local shop and online.

A heart-shaped box made from chocolate that contains nine truffles in black candy papers with a red lid and cellophane behind it

Image: Cocoa Mill

Cocoa Mill Chocolate

Founded by Stacey Graham, Cocoa Mill specializes in hand-crafted truffles and other decadent delights. This Richmond, Virginia company has received national recognition as a creator of exquisite fair trade chocolates. The Wall Street Journal chose Cocoa Mill’s Edible Chocolate Valentine Truffle Heart Box as “Best Overall.” Other accolades are from Bon Appetit, CBS Morning News, The Washington Post, Virginia Living, and many more.

Chocolatesville gift boxes in a pile with a red heart-shaped box partially shown in the upper left corner

Image: Chocolatesville


College friends at UVA and now husband and wife, Mary Ellen and Rob Isaacson use imported Belgian chocolate to make the sweets sold at Chocolatesville. Relying on cocoa butter rather than palm kernel oil, paraffin, or butter oil keeps their products clean and vegan. Whatever the recipe, it must be working, as they’ve been selling tasty treats since 2016.

A brown candy tray holding nine truffles with pink and red heart designs made by The Royal Chocolate

Image: The Royal Chocolate

The Royal Chocolate

The Royal Chocolate makes ethically sourced, all-natural gourmet chocolates and gifts. They believe that quality handmade chocolate is one of life’s great pleasures. From gift boxes to freshly-made truffles, hand-dipped fruit jellies, and custom wedding favors, they offer an unparalleled selection of tempting treats for every occasion.

A close up shot of Warfels Harvest Bark with nuts and seeds over dark chocolate

Image: Warfels Sweet Shoppe

Warfels Sweet Shoppe

Elaine Warfel Stauffer is a second-generation candy maker and a third-generation farmer’s market vendor. And, since 1993, she’s been offering fresh, quality chocolates and other sweets to those in the know in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. Warfels candies are all made the old-fashioned way: in small batches from fresh ingredients.

Rows of stacked chocolate truffles made by Shenandoah Fine Chocolates decorated with colorful graphic patterns on their tops

Image: Shenandoah Fine Chocolates

Shenandoah Fine Chocolates

Using fresh, local ingredients and time-honored French methods, Shenandoah Fine Chocolates is on a mission to handcraft artisan chocolates that are as memorable as they are delicious, their desire is for each bite of handmade confection to be a luscious treat. If you’re near Winchester, Virginia, check out their chocolate cafe, too!

More ways to get your chocolate fix in Virginia

Here are other small Virginia businesses that have chocolate treats for your sweeties.

Don’t see your favorites? Let us know!

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