If you’re reading this and you haven’t yet purchased chocolate for your loved one don’t worry, chocolate is not just for Valentine’s Day. In fact, some of the best chocolatiers on the East Coast are right here in New Jersey.

We are so well-known for our saltwater taffy here in New Jersey, but when you think about it it’s rare to find one of those candy shops that don’t have homemade chocolate featured there, too.

While New Jersey has never been considered famous for its chocolate, it certainly should be. These places get raves all year round for going out of their way to produce the best, freshest, most creative and delicious chocolates.

If you’re somebody who craves chocolate all year long, New Jersey is the place to be. And if you absolutely must fill a chocolate need, there are plenty of places in New Jersey to get the job done.

Is there a day that can’t be made a little better with chocolate?

Matisse Chocolatier, Englewood

This family-owned business has over 50 chocolate products and is Bergen County’s most popular chocolate store. From gourmet bark, to chocolate-covered fruit, to custom baskets, there isn’t much this place can’t create. They also sell DIY chocolate-making kits if you’re looking for something for kids to have a little bit of fun.

Vesta Chocolate, Upper Montclair

This husband and wife team makes some of the most carefully crafted chocolate in Jersey. They consider their production to be like an artisanal chocolate-making house, meaning they combine French techniques using chocolate from Latin America where cacao originated. Husband Rojer is head chocolatier at many renowned restaurants in New York City, so expect for this chocolate to be some of the best you’ve had if you purchase.

Lee Sims Chocolates, Jersey City

Lee Sims is a fourth-generation chocolate store that prides itself on being the store for anyone and everyone. Their products cater to any thinkable occasion and obviously are made with some of the finest ingredients around. If you’re big on giving gifts for every single little occasion this is definitely where you should head to.

2 Chicks with Chocolate, Middletown

After enduring an awful car accident that left her unable to commute to work, Elyissia Wassung's mom decided to start a chocolate business out of her own kitchen in hopes of success. Many years later, 2 Chicks with Chocolate is one of the best spots in New Jersey. They are most known for their Bon Bons, which are perfect for a day like Valentine's Day, but they also get pretty creative with their other products.

David Bradley Chocolatier, Windsor

Bob and Marcy Hicks opened their chocolate store almost 30 years ago simply because they thought it’d be fun, but quickly turned into a full-time job. They are best known for their chocolate-covered bacon, chocolate smash products and chocolate bombs but there’s an entire menu of creative chocolate items.

Opinions expressed in the post above are those of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Judi Franco only.

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