COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — From heart-shaped boxes stuffed with chocolates dominating grocery store aisles and commercials proclaiming chocolate-covered berries make great Valentine’s Day gifts, it’s no surprise February is National Chocolate Lovers Month.
If you’re planning on getting something sweet for your sweetheart (or even just for yourself), you don’t have to settle for mass-produced assorted chocolates. There are several outstanding chocolatiers and chocolate shops right here in central Ohio. Here are our top five favorites:
This German Village staple boasts the best confections around, all handcrafted using old-world techniques and made with the finest ingredients and rich Belgian chocolate. Customers come from all over the country to experience Schmidt’s delicious treats, and even Martha Stewart herself visited the shop. While every item on their menu is delicious, I highly recommend the dark chocolate sea salt caramels. They’re the perfect combination of bitter, sweet and salty and their caramel flavor is unlike any other I’ve had before.
Pure Imagination started out in the North Market in 2002 and has since grown to its own storefront in Grandview Heights. Everything in the store is made from scratch and they offer just about every flavor imaginable. Patrons love the friendly and personalized customer service and the reasonable prices. Pro-tip: You can’t go wrong by getting the truffles.
Winans has been a Columbus favorite since the early 1900s, and it’s easy to see why. Their hand-crafted treats are delicious, and their customer service is amazing. They have almost every type of chocolate you could imagine, from classics like toffee squares and chocolate-covered caramels to amazing almond bark to their signature bourbon cherries and cherry cordials. Pick up the signature gift box for just $22.95.
The Eagle Family Candy company has been serving some of the best chocolate around for more than 100 years. They keep the family tradition alive by using the same recipes, factory and equipment from the shop’s origins back in 1912. They offer everything from Buckeyes and buttercreams to toffee, cherry cordials, and French creams. Customers rave about the Buckeyes, which you can buy starting at $5.50 for a quarter pound.
Who says chocolate can’t be good for you? At MMELO (pronounced Mellow), you get the best of both worlds with delectable chocolatey goodness made from simple, fresh, whole-food, all-natural ingredients. They even have treats that are vegan, gluten-free and keto friendly. I recommend the Chocoholic Gift Box (tea cakes, Marshmmelos, chocolate buttons and handmade chocolate bark) for $47.