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Sweet! Exquisite Valentine’s Chocolates From Black-Owned Shops

A heart-shaped box from the 24-hour drug store? Nah. Let’s share our love for the community with a shipment from one of these artisans.

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As Valentine’s Day approached this year, my love for rich, sweet and melty chocolate was kicked up into high gear. I was reminded of how many of us love and crave chocolate every day, not just on Valentine’s Day. But where were the Black chocolatiers and chocolate companies? I love to support them whenever my sweet tooth screams for chocolate. I was familiar with a few Black chocolate makers like Harlem Chocolate Factory and Midunu. But, certainly, there were other companies offering soulful and creative twists on the classic box of chocolates that I needed to try. My research yielded sweet results! The chocolatiers listed will ship their sweets to your door.

Phillip Ashley Chocolates, Memphis, Tennessee

This chocolate company is known for its imaginative designs for big brands like Nike, FedEx and Cadillac. It also has a selection of beautiful gift boxes available to the public online and in its Memphis store.
Owner: Memphis celebrity chef and chocolatier Phillip Ashley Rix
Unique offerings: Called “edible works of art” by British Vogue, selections include the gorgeous Taste of Memphis gift box. It features colorful chocolates with flavors like BBQ, Blue Note Bourbon, Banana Pudding and Maple Bacon Pecan Praline.

SPAGnVOLA, Gaithersburg, Maryland

Using the finest cocoa beans grown and handpicked from Hacienda de SPAGnVOLA, its own estate in the mountains of the Dominican Republic, this company creates premium confections in its Maryland factory.
Owners: Head chocolatier Crisoire Reid and husband Eric Reid
Unique offerings: Bonbons, truffles, premium chocolate bars and gourmet hot drinking chocolate. Small batches are handcrafted from single-estate chocolate.

Pure Chocolate by Jinji, Belvedere Square Market, Baltimore

High-quality cocoa and hand-selected, healthy ingredients are used to craft unique sweet, salty and savory flavor profiles for the company’s many chocolate products. Visit the shop or have the chocolates shipped to your door. 
Owners: Jinji Fraser and her father, Guy Fraser
Unique offerings: Always dairy-free and gluten-free with no refined sugars, Jinji creates chocolate truffles, barks, chocolate-covered strawberries, drinking chocolate and spreads.

Good Girl Chocolate, Yukon, Oklahoma

Rich, sweet and delectable chocolates without the guilt are made with natural sweeteners. The confections will be featured in this season's Grammy Awards gift bags.
Owner: Tabatha Carr, N.D., a naturopathic doctor. After losing 80 pounds, Dr. Carr created the brand to satisfy her chocolate cravings while keeping the pounds off.
Unique offerings: Tasty chocolates that are plant-based, vegan, organic, gluten-free and naturally sweetened with low-glycemic sugars like organic coconut sugar. Her Keto bar is vegan and sugar-free.

Chocolate Secrets, Dallas

Inventive chocolatiers create organic hand-painted chocolates, uniquely flavored bonbons and a selection of macarons in 20-plus flavors. If you’re in Dallas, visit Chocolate Secrets’ wine shop and café for chocolates, truffles, food, wine and jazz.
Owner: Chocolatier Pam G. Eudaric
Unique offerings: Barrel-aged, handmade chocolate bonbons flavored with spirits like Macallan Scotch whisky, tequila and other high-end liquors

Hot Chocolat, Seattle

The finest and freshest cocoa is used to create inventive and unusual combinations for savory chocolates and macarons at this artisan shop.
Owner: Firefighter-turned-chocolatier and Le Cordon Bleu graduate Michael D. Poole
Unique offerings: Fresh, handcrafted chocolates made using a twist on traditional French techniques. Try combos like white chocolate lemon meringue, white chocolate mango passion, dark chocolate green tea matcha and dark chocolate pistachio. And if you are in Seattle, catch their chocolate- and macaron-making classes.

Harlem Chocolate Factory, Harlem, New York City

These handcrafted chocolates have made many lists, including Oprah’s Favorite Things in 2020, which extolled their Golden Brownstone Gift set. And their premium chocolate bar, named Striver’s Row in honor of the shop’s historic neighborhood, made the New York Daily News’ list of best snacks at the 2016 Summer Fancy Food Show.
Owners: Chocolatiers Jessica Spaulding, along with her Spelman sister, Asha Dixon, lovers of chocolate and Harlem
Unique offerings: Boxed bonbon selections and truffle flavors such as Sweet Potato Pie, Rose Champagne, Black Girl Magic Rosé and Red Velvet

My Chocolate Soul, Bronx, New York City

Chocolate truffles, turtles, bonbons and gourmet chocolate bars from both traditional and contemporary recipes
Owner: Ramona Thomas, an educator and mathematician who found her passion in baking before becoming a chocolatier
Unique offerings: Healthier all-natural chocolates and candies with no preservatives, coloring, corn syrup or other artificial ingredients

3 Some Chocolates, Mount Vernon, New York

Artisan chocolates made from fine fair-trade cocoa harvested from the Ivory Coast and Ghana, with a portion of the proceeds reinvested to support sustainable cocoa farming
Owners: Patrick Ali Glanville and wife Kristin Parker Glanville
Unique offerings: Gourmet chocolate bars with a “3-some-blend” of dark, milk and white chocolate in flavors like Ruby and White Chocolate Red Velvet, Ruby and Milk Chocolate Toffee, and Strawberry Crush. Also try the Jerk Chocolate Bites, and truffles infused with coquito, rum and Hennessy cognac.

Midunu Chocolates, Accra, Ghana

Ghanaian cocoa from local farmers makes these chocolates and truffles special. All products are made in Ghana under the direction of an all-female team of chocolatiers.
Owner: Chocolatier Selassie Atadika
Unique offerings: Atadika personally curates her signature artisan truffles using handpicked combinations of fruits, spices, coffee, black teas and tisanes (what we call herbal teas) from all over Africa. Don’t miss the signature tasting kit.

Les Chocolateries Askanya, Ouanaminthe, Haiti

Named one of the best chocolate gifts for Valentine’s Day by Condé Nast Traveler, Askanya chocolates are crafted from local ethically sourced Haitian cocoa, along with artisanal Haitian cane sugar and other 100 percent natural ingredients.
Owner: Corinne Joachim-Sanon, a Haitian engineer
Unique offerings: Handmade gourmet chocolate bar flavors include milk chocolate, dark chocolate, extra-dark chocolate with 90 percent cacao, brown sugar, orange and lime.

Credits: Courtesy of Midunu Chocolates, Patrick Glanville C.E.O/3 Some Chocolates, Courtesy of My Chocolate Soul and Kimberly Postma Photography, Courtesy of Good Girl Chocolate

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