Everyone who loves sugar knows that chocolate on Valentine’s Day makes for a great gift. But if you’re really trying to impress your favourite chocolate-lover on February 14, you can’t just pick up the first bar or box of sweets (or any, to be quite honest) that you find on the grocery store shelf. Instead, consider a treat that’s just as local, unique and perfect as your valentine. To help your search, The Coast has put together this assortment of eight Nova Scotian chocolate makers that offer some of the highest-quality confections around. All of them are sure to capture a sweet tooth’s heart.
Peace by Chocolate
The Syrian chocolatier—which opened a harbourside store at Queen’s Marque in March 2021—has created boxes packed with flavourful, sculpted chocolates and pieces of love advice from Canadian couples. On top of boxes, Peace by Chocolate also offers Valentine’s Day gift sets as well as “Love Bars” made of smooth dark chocolate, crunchy pistachios and sweet dried cherries.
1741 Lower Water Street
King & North
Small-batch chocolatier King & North is prepared to celebrate love this Valentine’s Day with a range of treats like trillionaire bars, chocolate turtles and cinnamon coffee mallows. There will also be treat boxes full of rich chocolate sweets such as dark chocolate truffles, chili choco caramels and salted chocolate cookie chunks. Founded by NSCC-grad Jesse Gallant, King & North will update its online store—currently the only way to order—with Valentine’s Day offerings on February 10 at 7pm.
It’s out of town on the South Shore, but Ploughman’s Lunch is worth the trip. While the cafe near LaHave typically focuses on French pastries, sourdough bread and light lunches, it also specializes in making chocolate straight from beans sourced from two Mexican farms. At Ploughman’s Lunch, you can find a range of chocolates with flavours such as coconut ginger lime, hazelnut crunch and pistachio marzipan.
4645 Route 331, West Dublin
Carlette’s Pop Up Shop
Preston-native Carlette Gray wants people to pamper their loved ones this Valentine’s Day with delectable treats and a romantic at-home experience. Carlette’s Pop Up Shop is making completely edible, breakable hearts full of sweet candy and a kit from Halifax’s Brow Justice. There are also gift boxes full of a dozen chocolate-covered strawberries, mimosa boxes and romance boxes that include a mix of fancy treats. For those who aren’t craving sugar, Gray is creating fun and memorable at-home Valentine’s Day experiences for anyone looking to bring the love inside this year. While Gray’s website is currently under construction, people can place orders on her social media or by email.
No list of local chocolates would be complete without mentioning downtown Halifax’s Rousseau Chocolatier. Chocolate-lovers can prepare their sweet tooths for vintage-inspired heart boxes full of decadence. Coming in either a 17-piece or 34-piece version, each box has handmade chocolates with flavours like strawberry dream cream, pecan crunch and rum cashew praline. On top of heart boxes, Rousseau is offering hand-painted hollow chocolate hearts that are full of sweet, surprising flavours.
5151 South Street
Gourmandises Avenue Chocolaterie
For nearly 20 years, owners Jean-Pierre Gallois and Yseult Bertic have been making chocolate at Gourmandises Avenue Chocolaterie in Dartmouth. Originally from France, the duo only makes fine confections from high-quality couverture chocolate. For Valentine’s Day, people can find rich treats such as boxes of hot chocolate bombs, various chocolate bars and bags of chocolate florentines. Besides chocolate, Gourmandises Avenue offers a range of French macarons, decorated cream puffs and flavourful mini cakes.
1249 Cole Harbour Road
LN—Eat More Art
Ellen Stone is the chocolatier behind LN—Eat More Art, and she’s offering a ton of different Valentine’s Day sweets in Cape Breton and Halifax. A graduate from NSCC’s baking and pastry arts program, Stone currently has a Valentine’s Day menu that includes treats like hearts made of marshmallow or moulded chocolate, and she’s also offering chocolate boxes with flavours such as passion fruit and cinnamon hearts. You can place an order with a DM on Instagram, but act fast—the deadline for Halifax orders is Feb 11. People looking for vegan and gluten-free treats can find her custom chocolate bars at two local florists: Props Floral Design (5533 Young Street) has a dark chocolate bar with freeze-dried strawberries, raspberries and dried rose petals while KoKo Mod Floral Design (158a Portland Street) stocks a bar with salted pistachios and rose petals as well as a bar full of candied ginger and pink peppercorns.
Sweet Spot Chocolate Shop
About a half-hour drive from downtown Halifax, in the heart of Elmsdale, Nancy and Greg McTiernan make a ton of original candies and fun chocolate treats, filling their store with hard-to-resist aromas. This Valentine’s Day, the couple is offering a selection of moulded chocolates including crafted hearts on a stick, chocolate pizza slices covered in candy and cute 3D turtles holding mini hearts. But for those who want to exceed their Valentine’s expectations, Sweet Spot Chocolate Shop offers Canada’s largest box of chocolates with a container that boasts around 205 pieces of confection.
601 Highway 2, Elmsdale