I’m not even going to go into the whole Valentine’s Day thing, guys. Whether you love someone else, love yourself, hate the world, or think the entire day is a made-up scam by the greeting card industry, just get over it, cuz I never say no to an excuse to eat more chocolate, and neither should you (and if you hate the world, you are obviously suffering from a chocolate deficiency – get some, STAT!).
But oh, where to get those delicious nuggets of heaven without hurting the animals? Sure, you could go to the local CVS and scour the ingredients on every dark chocolate bar in the joint (warning: CVS has very few vegan chocolates). OR, you could head to one of the amazing chocolatiers we have creating delicious, dairy-free concoctions right here in the beautiful state of Connecticut. What? You didn’t know? Prepare to get schooled, Valentine’s Day style.
Divine Treasures, Manchester
We can’t talk about Connecticut chocolates without starting with our own resident vegan chocolate maker, Diane from Divine Treasures. Guys, every single thing in her shop is vegan. Everything. I purposely stay away other times of the year because I’m pretty sure I’d go all Augustus Gloop up in there and have to be rolled out by Diane’s oompa loompas (you have those, right Diane?). Seriously though, not only is everything vegan, but she also sources organic, eco-friendly ingredients to make insane concoctions like Blonde Caramel, Celtic Coffee, Cranberry and Pistachio, Peanut Butter Melts (ughhh),Toffee Almond, and more. Divine Treasures also stocks baked goods from Shayna B’s and Pickle, a local vegan, gluten-free bakery, so it’s like a one-stop shop for all your cruelty-free, stuff-your-face deliciousness. And if you can’t get to the DT store in Manchester, never fear! The chocolates are also available at select Whole Foods Markets’.
The Chocolate Shell, Old Lyme
The nostalgic candy shoppe offers a variety of vegan chocolates that are 100% belgian and look super tasty. Truffles, hot chocolate, chocolate-dipped figs, and the fatest-looking chocolate-covered pretzels I’ve ever seen. The Chocolate Shell also sells old-fashioned candies (many of which may be vegan!), so ask for dairy-free and get sugar coma ready.
The CocoaShak, Chesire
This small, local chocolatier offers several version of vegan truffles made with coconut milk and names like Asian Fusion (dark chocolate ganache infused with fresh lemongrass and fresh ginger), Amaretto (made with almond milk, dark chocolate and rolled in roasted almonds) and Vegan Kahlua. Chocolate offerings change daily, so ask which are vegan and enjoy!
Tschudin Chocolates & Confections, Middletown
Based in Middletown, this local chocolatier designs amazing chocolate centerpieces and sculptures, and treats made with exotic flavors and local ingredients. Most dark chocolate offerings are vegan, like giant pretzels dipped in dark chocolate and sprinkles.
Can’t make it to a local shop? Head to your grocery store, health-food store or co-op and check out these tasty, vegan chocolates hand-picked by yours truly (cuz I have a chocolate problem):
All of the dark chocolate bars are vegan (except for hazelnut toffee), and really delicious. The chocolates are all ethically sourced, and 10% of profits go towards wildlife conservation and habitat preservation. Indulge without guilt – you’re giving back! My favs are the dark chocolate with raspberries, dark chocolate with blueberries, and cranberry almond. I’ve found these in Stop & Shop, as well as Whole Foods and other stores.
If you follow the Facebook page, you know I have a slight obsession with Chocolove. Check the ingredients, because not all dark varieties are vegan.. my favorites include Dark Chocolate with Chilis and Cherries (sounds crazy, tastes amazing), Dark Chocolate with Candied Ginger, and Dark Chocolate with Orange Peel. These bars are thick, creamy, and rich. Found at ION, Thyme and Season, Whole Foods and Stop and Shop.
SO GOOD OMG.
What are YOUR favorite vegan chocolates?