5 Boutique Chocolatiers Who Are Elevating Your Box of Chocolate This Valentine’s Day

As a proud choco-holic, Valentine’s Day is a favorite holiday of mine. Regardless of whether you’re single or attached, it’s the perfect excuse to treat yourself to a healthy dose of dark chocolate. Pair it with a glass of vino for double the antioxidants. Here are a few of my favorite boutique chocolatiers.

Raaka makes chocolate in Brooklyn from organic ingredients and unroasted cacao, to better preserve the bean’s authentic flavors. Best-selling bars ($7.95/ea) include a creamy coconut that’s 60 percent dark chocolate to fruity vanilla rooibos with notes of marshmallow. The chocolate casing surrounding the ganache on brand new truffles (4-pc. $12.95) is made with pure cacao and sugar, no chocolate liquor or paste. The subtly savory flavors like sesame, olive oil, and coconut milk blend beautifully with Raaka’s dark chocolate for extra nutty, earthy layers of sweet and salty complexity.

Ethereal Confections is the Midwest’s best when it comes to chocolate. Sisters-in-law Sara and Mary Ervin use organic ingredients (and no preservatives!) to make an ever-rotating selection of tasty chocolate bars, truffles, and mendiants. Red raspberry vanilla truffles ($8.95/4-pc) are Valentine’s Day specials, rolled in freeze-dried raspberry for a tangy accent. To really experience their chocolate-making skills, order the single-origin love bots ($6.95), made bean-to-bar in their Woodstock, Illinois, shop with cacao from Ecuador. The most extravagant gift of all? A subscription to Ethereal Confections’ chocolate of the month club (3 months for $90) for a surprise selection of classic and limited edition flavors delivered to your door each month.

To’ak takes single-origin chocolate to new heights with its Rain Harvest 2014 ($260) bar made with heirloom cacao beans from Ecuador’s Arriba coast. This is the priciest 1.5 oz. bar of chocolate in the world, but just think of it as the Bvlgari or Harry Winston of chocolate. Tasting is a true experience – the bar of chocolate comes in a keepsake wooden box with Spanish elm tweezers for tasting and a 116-page book detailing the chocolate-making process. At 81 percent dark chocolate, this is a bar for true connoisseurs. Floral orange blossom and citrus notes emerge as the chocolate melts on the back of your tongue, leaving a pleasant lingering bitterness worth every penny.

​Jcoco‘s flavors are as delicious as creative, from roasted sesame and crunchy quinoa enrobed in milk chocolate to peanut butter strawberry baobab, which is pretty much a PB&J sandwich made with chocolate instead of bread. Each package comes with three individually wrapped 1 oz. bars, which makes them perfect for sharing. If you’re indecisive, get a mini gift set ($17.95) to sample all seven flavors.

Soma Chocolate makes bean-to-bar cacao in Toronto to use in toffee, drinking chocolate, gelato, and cookies. The truffles come in innovative flavors like Douglas fir and Arbequina olive oil with additions like yuzu honey cloud and pomegranate prosecco for Valentine’s Day. There’s also an epic 300g raspberry hazelnut butter dark or milk chocolate heart that is sure to impress your sweetie.