A Year-Round Guide to Franklin and Nantahala

French Broad Chocolate Lounge — Asheville If you’ve ever visited downtown Asheville on a summer day, you’ve likely seen this downtown shop’s line for homemade ice cream, which often trails

Madison County Championship Rodeo

French Broad Chocolate Lounge — Asheville If you’ve ever visited downtown Asheville on a summer day, you’ve likely seen this downtown shop’s line for homemade ice cream, which often trails

Rosemary and Goat Cheese Strata

French Broad Chocolate Lounge — Asheville If you’ve ever visited downtown Asheville on a summer day, you’ve likely seen this downtown shop’s line for homemade ice cream, which often trails

12 Chocolatiers We Love

French Broad Chocolate Lounge — Asheville

If you’ve ever visited downtown Asheville on a summer day, you’ve likely seen this downtown shop’s line for homemade ice cream, which often trails down the street. Stop in for sipping chocolates, cakes, cookies, chocolate mousse, and bars — and beautiful handcrafted bonbons in one-of-a-kind flavors that celebrate Asheville and all of its surrounding farmers and producers. Think strawberry balsamic, sorghum caramel, and lavender and honey.

frenchbroadchocolates.com


Chocolate Fetish — Asheville

There are chocolate rounds, chocolate frogs, crunch bars, dark chocolate crystallized ginger, coconut domes, and much more. But first, head for the truffles. In February, you can buy your assortment in a red, heart-shaped box.

chocolatefetish.com


Chocolat GRACE — Cary

Before starting her online shop selling exquisite, sophisticated chocolate bonbons, artisan chocolatier Grace Stocker trained at some of the most prestigious chocolate schools in Europe. Made in small batches with high-quality ingredients from around the world — and from local farmers — her bonbons are as pretty as they are delicious. Don’t miss the Maracaibo & Cranberry Caramel, which won the coveted Golden BonBon Award at the 2018 Academy of Chocolates Awards in London.

chocolatgrace.com


Dillsboro Chocolate Factory — Dillsboro

Using single-origin Venezuelan cacao instead of a blend of beans, Dillsboro Chocolate Factory crafts high-quality truffles, chocolate-covered espresso beans and cherries, almond bark, and more. But we especially love their pecan and cashew turtles, which, instead of messy globs of chocolate, nuts, and caramel, come in the chocolate-covered shape of an actual turtle.

dillsborochocolate.com


Jenni’s Ugly Chocolates — Greenville

It’s the fillings that make Jennifer Farrow’s handmade chocolates special. She uses local ingredients to create flavors so piquant that the chocolates sing: cream and butter from a dairy farm just down the road from her house; local honey, pecans, and sweet potatoes; and even liquor from nearby distillers. Try the Sweet Potato Crunch, which won the top prize in the food category of Our State’s 2018 Made in NC Awards.

jennisuglychocolates.com


The Fudgeboat — Carolina Beach

Take a stroll down the Carolina Beach Boardwalk for fresh, creamy fudge in flavors like rocky road, espresso, chewy praline, and dark chocolate caramel sea salt — all served from a 38-foot wooden boat docked in the middle of the store. Plus, find chocolate-caramel turtles, chocolate-covered pretzels, and chocolate strawberries.

fudgeboat.com


Matthew’s Chocolates — Hillsborough

Cozy up with a cup of coffee in this café as you take your time deciding between Matthew’s truffles, chocolate bark, non-pareils, brownies, biscotti, and more. Thanks to his use of natural oils instead of extracts, the shop’s sweets consist of nothing more than pure, unadulterated goodness.

matthewschocolates.com


Prudence McCabe Confections — Mount Airy

From peanut clusters to ancho cinnamon truffles to s’more bark, you’ll have plenty of options when crafting a delicious gift box. But for your valentine, we recommend chocolate-covered strawberries and a dozen Rose Bites — rose-shaped truffles that are sure to impress at least as much as a bouquet.

prudencemccabeconfections.com


Videri Chocolate Factory — Raleigh

If it smells like brownies in downtown Raleigh’s warehouse district, then it’s roasting day at Videri. Inside, there are plenty of confections almost too pretty to eat, but a simple chocolate bar is guaranteed to satisfy your sweet tooth: It has the rich chocolate flavor that you love, but with more depth and a bright finish.

viderichocolatefactory.com


Escazú Chocolates — Raleigh

Order a cup of drinking chocolate in flavors ranging from chocolate chai to peanut butter to white chocolate and spices, or try one of Escazú’s “historic hot chocolates,” based on recipes from as far back as the 1500s. Or fill a box with jewel-colored, “paint”- splattered, gold-dusted confections so beautiful they could pass as works of art.

escazuchocolates.com


Black Mountain Chocolate — Winston-Salem

Picture windows provide a peek into the “visible factory,” where cocoa beans from the Dominican Republic become chocolate bars and gelato, espresso brownies and salted caramel tarts.

blackmountainchocolate.com


Brasstown Craft Chocolates — Winston-Salem

Specializing in “luxury” chocolate bars, Brasstown is involved in every step of the bean-to-bar process, from sourcing their fair-trade cacao beans directly from Latin American farms to wrapping up the final product. Try the award-winning Brasstown Sea Salt bar, which won gold in the 2016 International Chocolate Awards, or the Peruvian Ucayali 70%, which won bronze in 2018.

brasstownchocolate.com

This story was published on Feb 05, 2021

Our State Staff

Since 1933, Our State has shared stories about North Carolina with readers both in state and around the world. We celebrate the people and places that make this state great. From the mountains to the coast, we feature North Carolina travel, history, food, and beautiful scenic photography.