Treats like chocolate can be tough to justify – especially when trying to shop local and be conscious of where food comes from. But there are some spots in the calendar that call for chocolate, and if you want to answer that call, Edmonton has chocolatiers who can make you a handmade product that sources as many natural, ethical, and local goods as possible. The businesses described below represent a sampling rather than an exhaustive list of chocolatiers in Edmonton – something to whet your appetite for local chocolate creations.
The Violet Chocolate Company
The Violet Chocolate Company makes all its chocolates by hand. Company owner and chocolatier Rebecca Grant uses a hand tempered method on a marble slab for her creations, which include exotic combinations like raspberry pepper lime, and salt and vinegar chip, and classics like caramel pecan. She sources as many ingredients as she can locally. Her honey and rosemary bar, for example, contains rosemary she grows herself and honey from Alberta. Her products are also gluten-free.
The Violet Chocolate company has an online store and a physical location (17515 10 Ave SW). Grant also visits the Southwest Farmers’ Market and the City Market downtown, and her products are sold at Swish Flowers and Evoolution.
Chocolate Exquisite (11238 104 Ave) also features handmade chocolates. The owner showed his knowledge of chocolate making and commitment to quality when I visited his shop. During our conversation he told me he uses natural ingredients; his chocolates have no preservatives, and he purchases every ingredient individually. He also discussed how factors, such as extra humidity, affect the quality of chocolate. The piece of salted dark chocolate he let me sample was delicious.
Chocolate Exquisite is open Thursdays 11-5, Fridays 11-6, and Saturdays 12-5. The chocolates are sold as individual pieces, or in boxes with prices beginning at $15.00.
When I entered Sweet Lollapalooza‘s shop (located in Commerce Place downtown), I immediately noticed the chocolatier working on a batch of chocolates; another employee came to assist me while he concentrated on his work. Sweet Lollapalooza’s chocolates are handmade, low in sugar and free of preservatives. In search of the best ingredients, Sweet Lollapalooza sources from all over the globe but chooses organic and fair trade products where possible. Rather than having a stable set of chocolate products, Sweet Lollapalooza continues to experiment and produce new creations. I was able to sample one of their most recent melt-in-your mouth creations during my visit.
Chocolate is a special kind of treat – a great way to make it even more special is to choose the handmade individual creations of Edmonton chocolatiers who do their best to use local, natural, and ethical ingredients.