Boasting two award-winning bean-to-bar chocolate makers, who make chocolate from scratch, and several excellent chocolatiers, who create confections from prepared chocolate, Raleigh has established itself as a city that appreciates quality confections. Here’s a list of Wake County chocolate makers and chocolatiers that are worth the calories to visit—they all run storefront shops where each takes a unique approach to creating high-quality chocolate products.
ESCAZÚ CHOCOLATES Chocolate Maker 936 North Blount Street, Raleigh When Danielle Centeno cofounded Escazú in 2008, it was one of the only bean-to-bar chocolate shops in the country. Centeno developed her approach to making chocolate through trial and error. Over a decade later, Escazú has won numerous awards, including six from the prestigious Good Food Foundation. Centeno finds inspiration in inviting the community to explore new flavors, and her flavor profile leans heavily on South American influences, though she works with other flavors as well. “We’re all really good about trying to get people to try different things,” Centeno says. “We try to get an idea of what kind of thing they may like and then roll with that.” She encourages people to explore the
flavor of chocolate itself as well as other confections, since artisan chocolates all have unique flavors. “You can have the same bean in the same percentage from ten different chocolate makers, and every single bar is going to taste different,” Centeno says. Selections: Confections, chocolate bars, ice cream made in-house, and a beverage bar with drinking chocolate and coffee. Most popular items: Sea Salt Bar, Brown Butter Vanilla Truffles. Specialties: Vegan options for chocolate and ice cream.