It's a good time to be in the chocolate business.

In September, four-year-old Raaka Chocolate expanded to a Red Hook factory, quadruple the size of its original Clinton Hill facility. Last month, Jacques Torres opened its eighth location in the city, in Grand Central Terminal.

This month, Li-Lac Chocolates opens its new production facility in Sunset Park's Industry City, three times the size of its previous factory. And this Friday, Nunu Chocolates opens its second Brooklyn location.

Despite this recent boom, the chocolate craft has a long history in the city, with confectionery shops dating back as early as 1923 still going strong and since joined by chocolatiers riding the artisan wave and fostered by markets like Brooklyn Flea.

Here's a primer on NYC's chocolate scene, from old school to new.

 

OLD SCHOOL

 

Li-Lac Chocolates

Manhattan's oldest chocolate house is now based in Brooklyn, but the tradition of small-batch, hand-made gourmet chocolates continues.

Founded: 1923

Signature sweets: Fresh mint bars, marzipan acorns

Where sold: Flagship Greenwich Village store, Grand Central Market outlet, Sunset Park factory outlet, online

Fun fact: Some of the specialty molds have been used since the factory started.

 

Aigner Chocolates

The Aigner family still operates this chocolate shop in Forest Hills, churning out handcrafted chocolates and holiday treats.

Founded: 1930

Signature sweets: Parisian truffles, cherry cordials

Where sold: Forest Hills store, online

Fun fact: The store sells chocolate by the pound -- just like when it first opened.

 

Koppers Chocolate

This Greenwich Village chocolatier specializes in hundreds of varieties of dragees.

Founded: 1937

Signature sweets: Chocolate-covered espresso beans

Where sold: Specialty food stores, candy shops and department stores, including Bloomingdale's, Citarella, Dean & Deluca and Zabar's

Fun fact: Koppers claims to have invented the chocolate-covered gummy bear.

 

JoMart

This family-run Brooklyn institution, based in Marine Park since 1959, still uses the original copper kettles and Hobart mixer.

Founded: 1946

Signature sweets: Chocolate-covered marshmallows, butter crunch, nut brittles

Where sold: Marine Park shop, online

Fun fact: Learn the craft yourself at JoMart's classes.

 

Madelaine Chocolate Company

This family-run chocolate factory in Far Rockaway was hit hard by Superstorm Sandy, but has since bounced back.

Founded: 1949

Signature sweets: Italian foil-wrapped and panned chocolates

Where sold: Premium grocery stores, gift shops, department stores, chocolate and candy stores, outlet store at the factory during the holidays and online

Fun fact: On average, Madelaine churns out 100,000 pounds of chocolate in a day.

 

 

NEW SCHOOL

 

Jacques Torres Chocolate

"Mr. Chocolate" is one of the most successful chocolatiers in the city, with eight retail stores and a new, 40,000 square-foot factory in the Brooklyn Army Terminal to produce his chocolate and ingredients like marzipan and cookie dough from scratch.

Founded: 2000

Signature sweets: Bon bons, hot chocolate

Where sold: Eight retail shops in Manhattan, online

Fun fact: In 1986, Jacques Torres became the youngest pastry chef in history to earn the Meilleur Ourvrier de France medal in pastry.

 

Kee's Chocolates

Founder Kee Ling Tong first opened a shop for flowers and chocolates, but the sweets, which are available in more than 40 flavors, soon prevailed.

Founded: 2002

Signature sweets: Fennel, Smoked Salt

Where sold: Kee's Chocolates locations in SoHo, midtown and midtown west

Fun fact: Kee's Chocolates uses ingredients from across the globe for her chocolates, including sea salt from France, saffron from Spain and yuzu from Japan.

 

Mast Brothers Chocolate

This Williamsburg company is an NYC pioneer of the bean-to-bar chocolate movement.

Founded: 2007

Signature sweets: Belize Chocolate

Where sold: Gourmet food stores, factory outlet, online

Fun fact: Public tours are offered of the Williamsburg factory several times throughout the week.

 

Roni-Sue's Chocolates

This chocolate shop sells chocolates and other snacks inspired by local and exotic markets made in the store and a Queens kitchen incubator.

Founded: 2007

Signature sweets: Beer and Pretzel Caramels, Cocktail Collection (truffles inspired by classic cocktails)

Where sold: Roni-Sue's Chocolate Shoppe, Essex Street Market

Fun fact: Owner Rhonda Kave trained under master chocolatier Jean-Pierre Wybauw.

 

Nunu Chocolates

This small-batch chocolate company specializes in organic chocolate sourced from a farm in Columbia and churns out truffles, chocolate bars hot chocolate mixes and more.

Founded: 2007

Signature sweets: Salt Caramels

Where sold: Nunu Chocolates Café & Tap Room in Boerum Hill and Park Slope, independent retailers, online

Fun fact: The company was an original vendor at the Brooklyn Flea before opening its first shop in 2009.

 

Fine and Raw

Starting out in a Williamsburg loft, this small-batch Brooklyn Flea veteran now operates out of a 2,500 square-foot Bushwick factory and shop and specializes in raw chocolate bars and bonbons.

Founded: 2008

Signature sweets: Cacao and Coconut Chunky

Where sold: Bushwick shop, online

Fun fact: Owner Daniel Sklaar collaborates with various artists to design its bars.

 

Raaka Chocolate

Founder Ryan Cheney and chocolate maker Nate Hodge experiment in low-temperature chocolate making from their new Red Hook factory, creating dark cacao bars, infusions and inclusions.

Founded: 2010

Signature sweets: Hops-infused Porter

Where sold: Specialty grocery stores, boutiques and markets including Stinky Brooklyn, By Brooklyn and the Essex Street Market, online

Fun fact: Visit the Red Hook factory for a tasting tour or chocolate-making class, offered throughout the week.

 

Cacao Prieto

This bean-to-bar chocolate sources its cacao from a farm in the Dominican Republic using machines Cacao Preito has invented.

Founded: 2010

Signature sweets: Coffee and Sea Salt Criollo

Where sold: Red Hook factory retail store

Fun fact: Cacao Prieto makes liqueurs and rums using its organic Dominican sugar cane and cacao from its Red Hook factory, where owner Daniel Prieto Preston also operates Widow Jane Distillery.

 

Lululosophy

Founder Lucia Liu specializes in handcrafting truffles in bright colors and artful shapes using ingredients such as green tea and strawberry.

Founded: 2014

Signature sweets: Tea truffles

Where sold: Brooklyn Flea, Smorgasburg, Out To Sea at South Street Seaport, online

Fun fact: All colors used in the chocolates are natural.