SALT LAKE CITY — What started out as a bitter drink consumed in pre-Olmec culture is now a sweet, much-loved treat by people across the world.
Chocolate has grown and developed from when it was first used in 1900 B.C. and is a popular dessert among Americans. According to the History Channel, around $75 billion is spent on chocolate worldwide. The average American consumes 12 pounds of chocolate each year.
Thankfully for chocolate lovers in Utah, there is no shortage of options in our own backyard. Those looking for thick, authentic and unique chocolate have their choice of multiple chocolate stores, distributors and makers in Utah, making it easy to buy some tasty sweets.
Here are 12 chocolate companies that were founded or are based in Utah.
Brigham Young University graduates Clark Globe and Art Pollard founded Orem-based Amano Artisan Chocolate. This high-quality chocolate made with traditional techniques and cocoa beans hails from countries such as Madagascar and Ecuador.
These chocolates are available online and at many local grocery stores such as Harmon’s.
This Salt Lake City-based chocolate factory creates chocolate from cacao coming from trees throughout the world. The founder of the Chocolate Conspiracy, AJ, works to develop raw, vegan desserts including this chocolate. All of Chocolate Conspiracy's chocolate is 100 percent organic, raw and has little-to-no fermentation. The flavor in their bars is rich because they do not roast their chocolate, according to their website.
You can get your chocolate at 774 S. 300 West in Salt Lake City or at Harmon's.
Choosy Chocolates started when the founders opened a small chocolate store in Richfield. It has since grown and moved to Salt Lake City where they sell traditional, old fashioned candy, chocolate and treats. Get chocolate-flavored confections filled with caramel, pretzel, cream and more.
Purchase online or at 3565 Harvey Milk Blvd. in Salt Lake City.
Crio Bru is named after famous criollo cacao beans, which are brewed to make this chocolate drink. Crio Bru's website states its chocolate was inspired by indigenous Central and South American culture. This chocolate drink is essentially chocolate tea and was given to kings by the indigenous people. These beans come from Ghana and South America.
Crio Bru chocolate can be purchased in most grocery stores, including Reams and Macey's. It can also be purchased on their website.
Four generations of chocolatiers have produced hand-dipped chocolates and quality candy. Some of their products include hot chocolate, milk and dark chocolates with and without nuts or caramel, and more.
Hatch Family Chocolates is located in the Avenues in Salt Lake City at 376 8th Ave.
Mezzo's chocolate drink was inspired from the chocolate-rich city of Oaxaca. Drinking chocolate is still a common tradition there, according to the company's website. Mezzo collects beans from around the world, their website boasts, to make their chocolate drinks. Mezzo produces gourmet, thick chocolate drinks flavored with 65 to 75 percent cocoa powder while most other hot chocolate mixes only contain around 30 percent cocoa powder based products.
These rich chocolate mochas and tea can be purchased on their website.
Mrs. Cavanaugh’s has been selling chocolate, candy and ice cream for the past 40 years throughout the state. Any assortment of toffee, pecan cavaliers, caramel and dark and milk chocolate filled with nuts, cherries and mint flavor can be purchased online or at one of their six locations in Utah.
This Park City-based factory was founded in Colorado in 2010 before moving to Park City. Ritual Chocolate boasts “some of the highest quality cacao in the world” according to their website. The chocolate is created using a blend of European methods and an American style and includes ingredients from Mexico, Belize, Peru, Ecuador and Madagascar.
These chocolate bars can be purchased online and at the Ritual store at Park City, 1105 Iron Horse Dr. and at Harmon's.
Solstice Chocolate is located in Salt Lake City and is well-known for its rich chocolate bars made from exotic cacao beans. Solstice's beans come from South American and African countries that form 70 percent of the chocolate bars.
Solstice bars can be purchased at various stores throughout Utah and Colorado.
Tour a chocolate factory and participate in a chocolate tasting at Taste Utah. Taste gives you the chance to try dark, milk and white chocolate made with ingredients from across the globe. Taste chocolate is located in Provo on 117 N. University Ave. Reservations to participate in a testing session can be made online.
Utah Truffles sells milk, dark, almond, raspberry, orange, toffee and mint chocolates with gluten-free and natural ingredients. Utah truffles can be bought in various grocery stores and flower shops, or at their store located at 9075 S. Sandy Parkway in Sandy.
V Chocolates is an award-winning Belgian chocolate company that originated in 2007 in Salt Lake City. They have since spread to locations in Nevada, California, Washington, New York and Massachusetts. V Chocolates has earned many awards. Among these are being a finalist on Oprah’s favorite things list and making Utah's Best of State for seven years.
There are nine V Chocolates locations within Utah, or you can order yours from the company's website.
Camilla Stimpson enjoys reporting on politics, crimes, and her own awkward moments on 50shadesofawkward.com. When not writing, she can be found watching '30 Rock' or 'The Office,' napping, planning trips she can't afford and googling dogs.