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.
Manhattan’s oldest chocolate house is now based in Brooklyn, but the tradition of small-batch, hand-made gourmet chocolates continues.
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.
The Aigner family still operates this chocolate shop in Forest Hills, churning out handcrafted chocolates and holiday treats.
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.
This Greenwich Village chocolatier specializes in hundreds of varieties of dragees.
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.
This family-run Brooklyn institution, based in Marine Park since 1959, still uses the original copper kettles and Hobart mixer.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
This chocolate shop sells chocolates and other snacks inspired by local and exotic markets made in the store and a Queens kitchen incubator.
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.
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.
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.
Signature sweets: Cacao and Coconut Chunky
Where sold: Bushwick shop, online
Fun fact: Owner Daniel Sklaar collaborates with various artists to design its bars.
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.
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.
This bean-to-bar chocolate sources its cacao from a farm in the Dominican Republic using machines Cacao Preito has invented.
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.
Founder Lucia Liu specializes in handcrafting truffles in bright colors and artful shapes using ingredients such as green tea and strawberry.
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.