Eat and Drink NYC chocolate makers: A comprehensive guide Raaka head chocolate maker Nate Hodge, left, and founder Ryan Cheney Photo Credit: Mike Grippi By MEREDITH DELISO firstname.lastname@example.org @themerryness November 11, 2014 3:11 PM Print Share fbShare Tweet Email 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. By MEREDITH DELISO email@example.com @themerryness Meredith has been a features editor with amNewYork since 2013, covering dining, health, travel and books. Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Comments We're revamping our Comments section. Learn more and share your input.