SWEETS FOR YOUR SWEETIE: FOUR SHOPS TO GET CHOCOLATE IN CHARLOTTESVILLE
Okay, okay. We know it’s a little cliche to give your sweetie pie the gift of chocolate. But it’s a cliche for a reason—it’s the perfect gift. It melts in your mouth, it comes in multiple flavors, and it’s an aphrodisiac to boot! Here are four places to get chocolate in Charlottesville.
Gearharts Fine Chocolates
The OG of Charlottesville chocolatiers, Gearharts opened in 2001 after owner Tim Gearhart returned to the city following a stint in the Marine Corps. Gearhart had externed at Keswick Hall and helped launch Hamiltons’ at First & Main as its pastry chef, then decided to strike out on his own, creating an artisan line of chocolates that has been melting hearts ever since. We’re pretty passionate about anything from the store’s signature line—from the brown butter caramel to the raspberry zin.
Cocoa & Spice
Armed with a degree from the chocolate school (aka Ecole Chocolat Professional Chocolatier Program), chocolatier Jennifer Mowad started Cocoa & Spice, an artisan chocolate shop in York Place on the Downtown Mall. Recommended: the salted caramels, where a hand-painted dark chocolate dome shell is filled with creamy caramel sauce.
Necessity is the mother of invention. Or, at least, that was the case for Mary Ellen Isaacson, a chocolatier who, after having moved from Florida to Charlottesville with her family, was coming up short on options for Belgian chocolate in the area. She decided to fill in the blank, and Chocolatesville—which offers everything from fudge and truffles to chocolate-dipped fruits and candies—was born.
C-ville Candy Co.
Known around these parts for its delectable honey brittles, C-ville Candy Co. recently added chocolates to its line of treats. Owner David Shalloway says the new additions—like the dark chocolate almond bark or Toffee for Coffee—are quickly gaining in popularity. Shalloway developed his own signature dark chocolate blend, which he uses in the barks and nonpareils.