8 of Washington's Best Artisanal Chocolates
There’s just something special about the decadent deliciousness of a perfect piece of chocolate. And whether you gravitate toward milky and sweet or dark and rich, it’s hard to go wrong with this versatile treat.
While places like Brussels, Zürich, and San Francisco duke it out for worldwide chocolate supremacy, the Pacific Northwest also packs a sugary punch. In Seattle, it all really began with Fran Bigelow of Fran’s Chocolates (more on her in a bit)—one of our area’s early chocolate pioneers and an innovator with her sea salted caramels.
Our Favorite Seattle Chocolates
Next to Fran, Dilettante Chocolates also made a splash in our region, and we can’t forget about Theo Chocolate, our state’s first bean-to-bar chocolatier. But there are plenty of other impressive chocolate artisans deserving of the spotlight, too.
Without further ado, here are eight artisanal chocolatiers you need to know—right here in Washington!
Melt-in-your-mouth chocolate that’s beautifully packaged and makes a positive impact in our world? That’s what you get with Seattle Chocolate, one of our favorite chocolate establishments. With Owner & CEO Jean Thompson at the helm, Seattle Chocolate is the goodness we need in the world right now. Aside from sourcing responsibly grown and produced chocolate, the company also donates 10% of its net profits to Girls Inc., a nonprofit that uses unique programming to uplift and inspire girls throughout the U.S. and Canada.
Be a difference maker while enjoying some amazing chocolate goodies. We’ve got you covered with all that Seattle Chocolate has to offer!
With a name that pays tribute to their love of sailing, brothers Chris and Kelly Van Arsdale founded Spinnaker Chocolate in 2021. After years of research and testing, the Van Arsdales perfected the science behind great, small-batch chocolate (and they have the awards to prove it).
Their secret to ridiculously rich chocolate: roasting only the nibs (the inside of the cacao beans) gently to amp up flavor and eliminate bitterness. It’s something you’ll just have to taste for yourself. Get the lowdown and experience the Spinnaker Chocolate difference.
Chocolate and coffee—name a more iconic duo, especially in the PNW. A Seattle mainstay since the mid-1970s, Dilettante Chocolates offers a variety of exceptional chocolates, as well as a unique café concept that spotlights the recipes of founder (and third-generation chocolatier) Dana Davenport through cakes, truffles, and the Mocha Menu.
The Mocha Menu is where the Dilettante Chocolate Scale comes in, a choose-your-own-adventure of sorts where you select from five cacao percentages to truly level up your mocha or hot chocolate experience. Whether you’re looking to appease a sweet tooth or want to immerse yourself in a chocolatey wonderland, we can’t recommend Dilettante Chocolates or its Mocha Café highly enough!
Brown & Haley Almond Roca
Is there any treat with a richer history in the Tacoma area than Brown & Haley Almond Roca? Developed in 1923, this mouthwatering buttercrunch confection has been pleasing palates for one hundred years and shows no signs of stopping anytime soon. Almost as iconic as the Almond Roca itself is its signature pink packaging. Do yourself a solid and add a tin or two to your cart.
Some 300 miles east of the Brown & Haley headquarters is another historic Washington confectioner: Spokandy Chocolatier, a Spokane landmark since 1913. While not in Seattle, Spokandy is nonetheless a chocolate powerhouse you need to know about!
Founded by Terrance Riley—and originally known as Riley’s Candy Company—Spokandy and current owner Todd Davis are guided by the company’s motto of “premium ingredients, premium people, and premium products create premium customers.” With a full line of chocolate truffles and sugar-free candies—not to mention huckleberry confections and jams—a treat or two from Spokandy Chocolatier is well worth it.
We’re here for Barbara “BobbySue” Kobren and her family’s recipe for sweet and savory snacks. A passion project that began as a way for Kobren to help homeless animals has evolved into BobbySue’s Nuts, a Washington-based operation with national acclaim. To this day, the company donates a portion of all profits each year to provide shelters for homeless animals, making this a feel-good treat we can get behind.
And listen up, chocolate lovers: BobbySue’s Mocha My Day—a blend of dark chocolate espresso-covered almonds, cashews, and pecans—is the sweet and savory treat sure to add a smile to your face.
Jensen Toffee Co
Another Seattle-area family business we love is Jensen Toffee Co, a collaboration between mother and daughter-in-law Toni and Francesca Jensen. Their simple but satisfying gourmet toffee contains four premium ingredients, but it’s the technique they use that truly elevates their sweets to five-star status.
Choose from milk chocolate, dark chocolate, and white chocolate—or nab the gift set and don’t choose at all.
A Craft Chocolate Legend: Fran’s Chocolates
The woman who started it all in our neck of the woods, Fran Bigelow, is Seattle’s unofficial First Lady of Chocolate.
And why wouldn’t she be? After opening her first patisserie and chocolate shop in Seattle in 1982, Fran is a living legend among confectioners and chocolate aficionados alike—and she’s even credited with sparking the artisan chocolate renaissance in the U.S.
Read more about her inspiring story, and be sure to get your hands on Fran’s Chocolates. You’ll be glad you did!
Chocolate Adjacent Bonus: Chukar Cherries
Chewy, sweet, and delicious—three words that sum up the array of products offered by Yakima Valley-based Chukar Cherries.
Inspired by innovation and entrepreneurship in the world that surrounded her, Pam Montgomery started Chukar Cherries in the 1980s and hasn’t looked back since. We’re proud to support Pam’s vision by carrying an array of her company’s products, including the scrumptiously snackable chocolate-covered cherries. Check them out for yourself!
From Washington, With Love
Our pride for all things Washington runs deep. Browse our makers or shop by collection to explore what makes our state so unique!