Everyone remembers the first time they bit into a hard rock candy or a fresh caramel chew. You can recapture that feeling in the Green Mountain State. Pair that with a strong farm-to-table movement and a penchant for sustainable, locally-sourced products, and you have got a pretty sweet candy scene. So, follow along as we explore the top 9 sugary sweet spots in Vermont.
Middlebury Sweets started in 2007 by Blanca Jenne as the result of a short-lived scrapbooking business. A former candy peddler, Jenne decided to give the trade one more go as Middlebury had just lost its only candy store. Today, Middlebury Sweets is the self-proclaimed largest candy store in Vermont, with over 1,000 items in stock. Find Jelly Belly bins, 21 colors of M&M's, 300 bulk bins of gummies, hard candy, old-fashioned penny candy, handmade chocolates, homemade ice cream, maple product, and more.
Bennington’s best kept, sweet secret, Vermont Confectionery is owned by George and Jill McCain and features hand-made chocolates, a vast assortment of classic candies, candy baskets, Vermont ice cream and cheeses, maple products, and more. Stop into this tiny mom and pop shop and try a "Vermonster," which is a large handmade chocolate layered with caramel and nuts and drizzled with white chocolate.
Established in 1983 by Jim Lampman, Lake Champlain Chocolates started out making chocolate truffles. Soon they included hot chocolate, an organic line of chocolates, sea salted caramels, and other candies. With the intention to find the best and freshest ingredients from local farmers and producers, LCC has been producing locally sustainable, great-tasting chocolates and candies for more than 30 years. Still a family company, you can stop by their factory in Vermont’s Queen City, or buy their gourmet chocolate online.
Owners Stephen and Anna Montanez founded the Vermont Truffle Company in 2013 to promote delicious chocolates made from local, fresh ingredients. Both owners attended Johnson & Wales University and are committed to the craft and service behind the VTC. And no preservatives or artificial colors, flavorings, or extracts are ever introduced to their products. Stop in and try one of their 17 truffle flavors today, like their flagship, Vermont maple, or order online.
Amarah’s is all about the experience. Stepping into the small mom-and-pop shop is like stepping into a chocolate shop of yesteryear. Upon entering, the smell and taste of cocoa are palpable, and the vibrant colors are overwhelming. With a focus on premium quality sweets, everything is handmade in-house, like salted caramels, truffles, creams, almond bark, pecan butter toffee, almond butter crunch, turtles, coconut haystacks, chocolate covered pretzels, and more.
Leigh Williams founded Laughing Moon Chocolates in 2001, not only to share her passion for great chocolate but to educate consumers about the product. Teaching customers about chocolate sourcing, processing, and quality are what drives Laughing Moon, and each homemade caramels and truffles are processed in small batches using traditional copper kettles. Also, paper products in the shop are made with post-consumer recycled materials to complement LMC’s mission.
Located in a historic building that was once an old wagon shed, this shop now houses a vast array of Vermont specialty foods, such as maple candy, cheddar cheese, preserves and jellies, honey, chocolate, hard candy, and more. Visit Cocoa, the world's largest chocolate teddy bear, and the Chocolatorium to explore the history of chocolate. Tastings and demonstrations are also scheduled regularly here.
Tom Huncharek and Susan Balutis have been purveyors of fine chocolate confections for more than 30 years, operating out of a historically restored sheep barn (c. 1842). Both chocolate lovers committed to old fashioned customer service and personal attention to move their product. Chocolates are made fresh daily, and their homemade ice cream is out of this world.
Vermont Nut Free Chocolates was founded in 1998 by a mom whose son had a severe peanut allergy. After researching the matter, they decided the safest and best thing to do was to start making their own chocolate, which they did out of their home. Now VNFC has a dedicated facility in Grand Isle, Vermont. With products in over 500 locations across the U.S., customers can also buy online and confidently rest assured no nuts have ever touched their chocolate.