You can satisfy someone’s sweet tooth while supporting the local economy this holiday season.
The holidays and chocolate are a perfect pairing. There are many delicious opportunities to indulge in something sweet: holiday parties, Hanukkah, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, Kwanzaa, New Year’s Eve, while wrapping gifts, watching a Hallmark holiday movie… the list goes on.
According to Candy Store, the top three Christmas candies in Pennsylvania are Reese’s Cup Minis, Candy Canes, and the red, white, and green candy corn known as Reindeer Corn. Sure, these treats and more can be found at most grocery and big box stores, but the same types of candy can also be found at locally owned chocolatiers and confectioneries, and often they’ll be made with more quality ingredients and taste much better.
If that isn’t convincing enough to buy local chocolate, there are other reasons why buying from a local Pennsylvania candy maker during the holidays is a good idea. When you purchase from local businesses, you support your local economy. For every $100 spent at an independent neighborhood business, $68 goes back into the local economy compared to only $43 going back to the local economy when that same $100 is spent at chain stores, according to Fundera.
This holiday season, if you’re looking for chocolate Santas, candy canes, Reindeer corn, chocolate gelt, truffles, peppermint bark, or other sweet tweets, look no further than your local, independent chocolatier. These seven chocolate makers in Pennsylvania will deliciously meet your needs.
If artisan Belgian chocolates are what you’re searching for, Easton’s Chocodiem is where you’ll find them. They keep their selection small, handcrafting fine truffles in a variety of flavors and a small number of molded chocolate candies. They also hand make macarons, the delicate, colorful, French meringue-based cookies filled with flavored buttercream.
For the holidays, Chocodiem creates an Advent calendar, with 25 dark, milk, and white high-end chocolates to discover in the days leading up to Christmas. Forbes Magazine and Dessert Professional Magazine have both recognized Chocodiem as one of the top chocolatiers in the country. Shop in store or online.
Location: 325 Northampton Street, Easton, Northampton County
Divani Chocolate sources only premium Belgian chocolate to make the most chocolatey treats, with as few added ingredients as possible. Located in Foxburg, they make their small batch confections in house, and additions like dried fruits and nuts are either organic or come from trusted sources.
At the store located in an old bank built in 1937, you’ll find a large variety of chocolates for the holidays from chocolate bars to truffles to bark to boxes filled with assorted chocolates. They also have a line of vegan chocolates and suggestions for business gift giving. Shop in store or online.
Location: 9 Main Street, Foxburg, Clarion County
Located in Old City Philadelphia, Shane Confectionery claims to be America’s oldest candy store. Opened in 1863, it has a long history of candy making by several different owners. Its latest iteration includes Shane Chocolate Works, the bean to bar chocolate arm of Shane Confectionery where they craft cacao beans into finished chocolate, including peanut butter cups.
Also on site is the Shane Chocolate Café which serves seasonal hot and cold historical drinking chocolates and house-roasted chocolate ice creams. They craft several vegan chocolates, too. Shop in store or online.
Location: 110 Market Street, Philadelphia, Philadelphia County
Finney’s Chocolate Shoppe
A family-owned chocolate shop in Cambridge Springs, Finney’s Chocolate Shoppe hand crafts their signature light and crunchy toffee sponge candy, 40 varieties of chocolate including seasonal selections, and 15 kinds of fudge. They also make the Tik Tok trendy hot cocoa bombs in flavors like Pumpkin Spice or Caramel Apple Cider. Throw them in a mug of warm milk and they slowly melt, creating flavor-infused hot chocolate.
Location: 116 Spring Street, Cambridge Springs, Crawford County
Lorah’s Handmade Chocolates
Lorah’s Handmade Chocolates in Mohnton crafts chocolate the traditional way, using the highest quality ingredients, and their own recipes—some passed down through three generations. They craft bark, caramels, truffles, cordials, chocolate-coated nuts, fudge, and more—from scratch. Some of their seasonal customer favorites include pumpkin fudge mini pies and white or dark chocolate eggnog ganache.
Location: 611 Alleghenyville Road, Mohnton, Berks County
Raymer’s Homemade Candies
Freshly made in Doylestown, Raymer’s Homemade Candies are made daily using recipes that originated in the 1880s. Chocolate sea salt caramels, chocolate cashew turtles, assorted chocolate boxes, truffles, and Belgian chocolate covered pretzels, Raymer’s makes all the classics.
Raymer’s sells jars of their homemade caramel sauce to enjoy on ice cream, in coffee, or dripping off of apple slices. They also make trays that include an assortment of chocolates that are perfect for taking to a holiday gathering. Shop in store or online.
Location: 21 E Oakland Ave, Doylestown, Bucks County
Since 1929, Stefanelli’s Candies has furnished Erie with the finest, handcrafted chocolates and candies. They now have 5 locations in Erie and the surrounding region. Candy is crafted over an open flame in a traditional copper kettle that came from Italy. The skilled candy makers at Stefanelli’s make their own fillings. After each candy is filled, the chocolate makers initial each one to identify its filling and then hand pack it.
Their holiday candy treats include milk chocolate snowmen, Christmas gummy bears, chocolate gift box lollipops, chocolate covered holiday pretzels, and several corporate gift box options. Shop in store or online.
Location: 2054 W 8th St Erie, Erie County
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