Buy your valentine the best chocolate Atlanta has to offer

Everyone, it seems, has a soft spot for chocolate.

Valentine’s Day is celebrated with heart-shaped boxes — filled, of course, with bite-sized chocolates.

But for those aiming to impress a chocolate lover, skip the waxy, mass-produced candies filling the aisles of drugstores. Think outside the box and consider instead local chocolate artisans who make small batches of extraordinarily delicious chocolates.

In metro Atlanta, local chocolatiers have been producing hand-crafted chocolates since the 1970s. Whether as a craft passed down for generations in a family or the dream of a traveling couple, the exquisite and uniquely crafted chocolates at these five shops make perfect gifts for the love of your life.

Amabely’s Sweet Treats. This home-based Norcross chocolate shop offers chocolate-dipped strawberries, pretzels, oreos, Rice Krispie treats and chocolate lollipops. Pickup and delivery are available.

770-331-0424, amabelys-gourmet-sweets.business.site/

Breeze Confectionery Oven. Jasmin Johnson and Patrick Mwabil opened Breeze in the Municipal Market in 2020, selling a variety of desserts including pastries and cakes, macarons and vegan breads. In the chocolate department, look for bonbons with flavors like amarula, bacon cayenne and cappuccino as well as a variety of truffles.

209 Edgewood Ave. SE, Atlanta. 404-465-1977, breezeconfections.com/

Cacao Atlanta Chocolate Co. Consider Kristen Hard, the founder and CEO of Cacao Atlanta Chocolate Co., as the chocolate maven of Atlanta. To say she is obsessed with chocolate is an understatement. Hard studied the cacao bean, its nutritional benefits and the process of making chocolate from bean to bar. As a bonus, Cacao was named as one of the best chocolates in the country in 2015 by Food & Wine.

For Valentine’s Day, try a box of raspberry and rose dark bark; an Envelope of Love filled with a dark chocolate bar; Pave chocolate boxes; or a red crocodile heart-shaped box filled with chocolates, candied fruit peels and a chocolate-dipped strawberry. For every other day, the shop offers a variety of bars, barks, drinking chocolates and chocolate-dipped fruits.

Cacao strongly encourages online shopping or making appointments for in-store shopping due to COVID-19.

3017 Peachtree Road NW, Suite A150, Atlanta. 404-228-4023. cacaoatlanta.com/

Credit: HYOSUB SHIN / AJC

Credit: HYOSUB SHIN / AJC

Chamberlain’s Chocolate. If you can think it, Chamberlain’s can dip it in chocolate. Since 1986, Chamberlain’s Chocolate has churned out chocolate products: from gummy bears enrobed in chocolate to traditional house-made ganaches that fill truffles, creams, caramels and toffees. They currently offer chocolate-covered Twinkies and even deep-fried onion strings in chocolate.

For Valentine’s Day, the store offers fondue and dipped fruits, as well as truffle boxes and cake pops.

1575 Old Alabama Road, Roswell. 678-728-0100, chamberlainschocolate.com.

Chef Brûlée Chocolates and Gậteaux. Natalya and Art Shapiro started making their chocolates in 2008 and now sell their creations in their Roswell shop and ship their chocolate all over the country. Gift your sweetheart with a chef’s selection box of brightly-colored chocolates, or build your own, with flavors including salted caramel, espresso and white raspberry.

1140 Alpharetta St., Roswell. 404-953-0369, https://www.chefbrulee.com/

The Chocolaterie. Open since the summer of 2006 in downtown Duluth, the Chocolaterie specializes in hand-painted chocolate truffles as well as handmade fudge, candies including pecan turtles and chocolate bark and ice cream. Online ordering and curbside pickup are also available.

3099 Main St., Duluth. 678-585-3338, thechocolaterie.com/

Jardi Chocolates. Jocelyn Gragg, who previously worked as a pastry chef, turned her love of chocolate into a full-time gig, churning out hand-painted bonbons for customers of Jardi Chocolates. For Valentine’s Day, try the Valentine’s Day collection with four filled chocolates; Love Bites chocolate malt balls; or the Silly Love Songs bar with a dark chocolate shell filled with a roasted strawberry jam and topped with a caramel-milk chocolate ganache. Chocolates can be shipped or picked up from the Jardi production facility in Chamblee.

470-240-8353, jardichocolates.com/

Temo Foods. Thomas Numprasong, served as a pastry chef at Canoe and taught classes at Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts before doing a pandemic pivot to focus on making artisan chocolate truffles.

This year, Temo is offering two Valentine assortments: a 15-piece box with five different flavors, including raspberry and strawberry crunch white chocolate and dark chocolate cherry cordial; and a nine-piece box with three flavors of truffles, including passion fruit and caramel dark chocolate and caramelized Georgia pecan crunch milk chocolate.

temofoods.com/

Xocolatl. A tiny yet gorgeous space in Krog Street Market is home to Xocolatl, a “bean-to-bar” chocolate shop.

Inside this micro-factory (the production space stretches only 250 square feet), owners Elaine Read and Matt Weyandt make a variety of pure single-origin dark chocolate bars. Weyandt and Read, who lived in Costa Rica and worked with cacao farmers and artisanal chocolatiers, now share their experience and passion for making small batches of craft chocolates here locally.

The cacao beans are sourced from several countries around the globe including Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Peru, Madagascar, Tanzania, Ecuador and Trinidad. The single-sourced bars contain two ingredients — cacao and organic cane sugar. No added cocoa butter, no soy emulsifiers and no fillers of any kind.

What you taste is the true flavor of the chocolate from different regions — different flavor profiles ranging from earthy and nutty to buttery and fruity. Xocolatl, pronounced CHOCK-oh-lattle, also offers chocolate bars infused with other ingredients such as the "Kissed Mermaid" with coconut milk, sea salt and vanilla; the "Soul Rebel," which features dark coconut milk and Jamaican jerk spices; and the "Wide Eyed" with Bolivian coffee beans from Cafe Campesino in Americus ground right into the chocolate.

For Valentine’s Day, the shop offers packages including the Dark Chocolate Decadence Box, Sweetheart Set and Valentine Trio.

99 Krog St. N.E., Atlanta. 404-604-9642, xocolatlchocolate.com.

Yvonne Zusel contributed to this report

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