Are you ready for a mood booster? Since you can’t go out, thanks to COVID-19 and social distancing, how about ordering some goodness in? Make your time at home sweeter with these delicious confections.
Here are five bean-to-bar chocolate makers in the Valley who ship to your door.
Maureen and Jim Elitzak are the owners of Zak’s Chocolate in Scottsdale. They make small-batch, single-origin bars farmed from ethically sourced beans. Zak’s dark chocolate is vegan and gluten-free, with three ingredients: cacao beans, cocoa butter from the same beans (to provide a smoother flavor profile), and organic cane sugar. The milk chocolate has the same three ingredients plus organic whole milk. Zak’s also offers an award-winning Sonoran Dessert white chocolate bar, which we recommend.
If bars are not enough, you can find a variety of other treats likes nuts, AZ Queen Bee Honey, cocktail mixers, and more on the website (while social distancing) and in the store (later). Zak’s has won numerous awards, including the International Chocolate Award from 2016 to 2019. When the curve flattens, you can also visit their small factory or take a chocolate-making class with them. But until then, order online. Zak’s is offering free shipping (local and national) for a limited time on orders of $40 or more with code FREESHIPPING40. Or get 10 percent off on courtyard pickup orders with PICKUP10.
Stone Grindz Chocolate
Owners Kasey McCaslin and Steve Shipler are the forces behind these eight, single-origin dark chocolate bars. Based in downtown Phoenix, Stone Grindz Chocolate has pulled in some awards over the years, including International Chocolate Awards from 2017 to 2019. Even Martha Stewart chose Stone Grindz's Wild Bolivia 70 percent bar as one of 20 chocolate bars perfect for gifting.
If you are the adventurous or indecisive type (absolutely normal characteristics for a chocolate lover), then go for the variety pack and try them all. Stone Grindz also sells Asian pear and Suntory whiskey bonbons. Considering all the work that goes into making these confections, the price is surprisingly reasonable. Each bar costs no higher than $9. To order, visit the website or call 480-231-5065. When it's safe to be in crowds again, you can find them at Old Town Scottsdale Farmers Market.
Based out of Fountain Hills, this chocolate shop is owned by husband and wife Louis (Lou) and Denise Mirabella. Chocofin Chocolatier started by selling wholesale and supplying area resorts. The resorts still offer this chocolate, but now so does the retail store. The Mirabellas sell three bean-to-bar options: Madagascar, Uganda, and Trinidad — each made from organic, fair-trade beans and priced at $6.95. In addition, Chocofin offers truffles made with Belgian chocolate along with other baked goods (cookies, brownies, and cakes). To order, call 480-836-7444.
Denae Hostetler owns DNA Chocolate in Chandler. She fell in love with chocolate through her travels to Oaxaca, Mexico, in her 20s. Currently, she acquires her cocoa beans directly from ethical farmers in Belize who only use certified organic methods. Hostetler is looking to add beans from a new farm in Ecuador as well. A Best of Phoenix winner (for chocolate) in 2019, DNA makes bars, bonbons, and candy from stone-ground chocolate. Those who have had Proof Bread’s pain au chocolate have, whether they knew it or not, had DNA Chocolate. The bars are a steal at $6.50. At this time, DNA Chocolate offers delivery in the Valley if you order online.
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A Best of Phoenix winner for its confections, Nutwhats offers three bars and lots of other treats, including barks and sugar-free bars. The chocolate bars are single-origin, made of cocoa beans from Tanzania; Tien Giang, Vietnam; and Ocumare de la Costa, Venezuela. Owner Lisa Rast is also known for her nut clusters, which are a cross between toffee and brittle. Nutwhats does individual orders and corporate gifts as well. Check out the website or call 480-381-5065 to order. For the bars, you need to call or email your order to firstname.lastname@example.org. In future, you can find this chocolate at Old Town Scottsdale Farmers Market. Bars sell for $7 or three for $20 — and they go fast.
Editor’s note: This article was updated from its original version.