So you want to find some chocolate stores, since you’ve exhausted the chocolate selection at your local supermarket. Fortunately, good chocolate is becoming easier and easier to find. Here are our suggestions for where to buy chocolate without breaking the bank.
1) Try special ordering at your local supermarket. Some grocers will happily oblige you if you indicate you’d like to try a new product that they don’t carry. You could always show up brandishing a page from our website which tells how great that product is. For those of you in small towns, this could be a good bet.
2) Visit a health food store. Even if you aren’t a health food store kind of person, you should start seeking them out, if only for the chocolate! Health food stores typically carry brands with organic and Fair Trade ingredients, and they’re usually yummy! We’re not talking carob, we’re talking high-quality chocolate. The bigger stores, like Whole Foods, Wild Oats, Trader Joe’s, and Vitamin Cottage, carry a wide selection.
3) Find a local chocolatier. You may have chocolate stores in your area and not even know it! Some chocolate makers carry a selection of tasty chocolate bars as well. Check the phone book under chocolate, candy, or gifts. One of my favorite small chocolatiers is Wiseman House Chocolates.
4) Look for an importer or gourmet food store. Cost Plus World Market is a place to start, if you have one close by. Many communities have small imported or gourmet food stores, and many of them carry unusual chocolate.
5) Buy from online chocolate stores. Amazon.com (affiliate link) carries a decent selection of good chocolate (beware the plentiful Godiva), and may be a good choice for those new to buying on the web. Also, it’s easy to get free shipping on Amazon, either through their Prime shipping option or by ordering over $35 worth of products.
If you are looking for candy and nostalgic/retro treats, a good choice is Candy Favorites. They are backed by one the oldest wholesale candy companies in the U.S. and offer over 3000 varieties of candy.
One drawback to buying from online chocolate stores is the shipping cost. A $3 chocolate bar costs $7 to ship, so plan on buying in quantity. Also, if you live in a hot climate, you will need to pay extra for warm weather packaging and expedited shipping.
For more help in finding chocolate stores, try: ChocoMap
Then again, you may become such a chocolate freak that you start your own chocolate store. The thought’s tempting…
Special note for readers outside the US: Your best bets for finding chocolate will probably be local chocolate makers and imported foods stores. I’ve been unable to find anyone who ships worldwide without the cost of shipping being exorbitant.
Special note for the Canucks among you: some of the online retailers listed above will ship to Canada, IF you want to pay the hefty charges. Alternatively, check out Toronto-based A Taste for Chocolate, where you will find an excellent selection of fine chocolate, and information about chocolatey events in the Toronto area.