People often associate Missouri with beer and barbecue, but there’s another craft industry here that’s even sweeter. Renowned local chocolatiers put passion and creativity into their work, producing an impressive variety of chocolate bars with top-notch quality and visionary flavors. From blood orange-caramel to coconut-milk chocolate to dark chocolate with macadamia and Hawaiian sea salt, there’s something for everyone – not just chocoholics.
André’s Confiserie Suisse
After training as a master pastry chef in Switzerland, André Bollier immigrated to Kansas City with his family and opened André’s Confiserie Suisse in 1955. A cornerstone of the city, the company specializes in handcrafted Swiss-style confections, but it’s also expanded its selection to include high-quality single-origin chocolate bars. The signature Swiss 60 percent dark chocolate bar filled with caramel infused with J. Rieger & Co.’s Kansas City Whiskey is a must-try. Pick up that and more at the South Plaza location or order online at andreschocolates.com.
Chocolate Chocolate Chocolate Co.
Made with love – plus fair trade-certified chocolate and sugar and years of experience – the chocolate bars from Chocolate Chocolate Chocolate Co. are hard to resist. The family-owned and -operated company offers dark chocolate bars – think strawberry-Champagne truffle and blackberry-honey caramel – and milk chocolate bars, including peanut butter-banana and cannoli truffle, which are available in retail stores in St. Louis, St. Charles, Missouri, and Edwardsville, Illinois, as well as online at chocolatechocolate.com.
At Askinosie Chocolate in Springfield, Missouri, founder and CEO Shawn Askinosie, along with his daughter and CMO, Lawren Askinosie, makes chocolate from scratch, grinding sustainably sourced cacao beans purchased directly from farmers in Ecuador, the Amazon, Tanzania and the Philippines to craft his award-winning chocolate bars. Exploring both classic and extraordinary flavor combinations, Askinosie has created showstoppers such as the dark milk chocolate bar made with goat’s milk powder and a touch of fleur de sel and the rich dark chocolate bar made with creamy Hass avocado and rosemary. Check out these and other flavors at the Commercial Street storefront or online at askinosie.com.
Christopher Elbow Chocolates
While many people head to Christopher Elbow Chocolates in Kansas City for its distinctive bonbons, you can’t go wrong with a few of its artisan chocolate bars either. Crafted with great care and the finest ingredients, the line of signature chocolate bars come in both traditional and seasonal flavors. The crème brûlée white chocolate bar is a customer favorite, but the blueberry-lavender-dark chocolate, coffee-cardamom-dark chocolate and cherry streusel are also crowd-pleasers. The chocolatier makes bean-to-bar chocolate bars as well, with single-origin cacao beans from countries such as Belize, Haiti and Vietnam. Snag a selection for any occasion at the Crossroads location or online at elbowchocolates.com.
Sweets at Panache Chocolatier in Leawood, Kansas, begin with the highest quality single-origin chocolate. While fans flock to the signature Choco Poppo (popcorn drenched in that decadent chocolate), you’d be remiss to overlook the chocolate bars. Available in flavors such as espresso and black pepper-pistachio, they’re part of the reason the International Chocolate Salon listed Panache as one of the Best Chocolatiers and Confectioners in America in 2019 and 2020. Shop for the handcrafted artisan chocolate bars and more at the storefront in Park Place or online at chocolatekc.com.
The bean-to-bar chocolate bars from Honeymoon Chocolates start with cacao beans from Colombia, Haiti or Peru, which owners Cameron and Haley Loyet roast using their own recipes. Bursting with flavors of eucalyptus, coffee, apricots and rum, the chocolate bar made with 67 percent cacao from the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta and therapeutic-grade raw manuka honey from New Zealand is a must-try. All of Honeymoon’s products are sweetened with raw honey purchased directly from beekeepers, and a portion of the proceeds goes to the Pollinator Partnership. hmchocolates.com