The average American eats 12 pounds of chocolate every year. On World Chocolate Day, fete the fudgy stuff by supporting this local trio of woman-owned shops.
1332 N. Halsted St., Chicago, 773-998-2462
- The chocolatier: Pediatrician-turned-chocophile (and graduate of Chicago’s French Pastry School) Heather Johnston
- The confections: Handmade creations with Wonka-like whimsy — like bonbons swirled in kalidescopic colors — to match its Roald Dahl-inspired moniker.
- Even better: The fair-trade sweets are made with high-quality American-made Guittard Chocolate.
1900 S. Halsted St., Chicago, 312-674-6984
- The chocolatier: Former Wolfgang Puck pastry chef Uzma Sharif
- The confections: Sweets that put a South Asian twist on traditional French technique — think salted Himalayan turtles and Kashmiri chai bonbons.
- Even better: Sharif donates a percentage of the proceeds to Apna Ghar, Inc., an organization committed to ending gender violence in immigrant communities.
Available at your local Whole Foods
- The chocolatier: Chicago native Katrina Markoff, founder of Vosges Haut-Chocolat
- The confections: Mouthwatering morsels that incorporate American staples while supporting local farms throughout the United States.
- Even better: Sales benefit the Wild Ophelia Accelerator Fund, which encourages, supports, educates, and propels American high school and college girls who have entrepreneurial dreams in food by providing three grants per year.
Nicole Schnitzler is a freelance writer who covers food, drink, travel, and lifestyle. When she is not planning her next adventure, she can be found commuting between bakeries, yoga classes, live music shows, and libraries in her hometown of Chicago. She is most comfortable with a pen in one hand and a fork in the other. Nicole is also the founder of Doors Open Dishes, an initiative committed to keeping the doors open to the group homes and workshops of individuals with special needs by partnering with chefs and restaurants across the city. Follow her on Twitter (@Write_To_Eat) or on Instagram (@WriteToEat).