In my opinion, there’s no better way to express your love on Valentine’s Day quite like the gift of chocolate. (I sure hope my husband is reading this!) If you’re traveling around Indiana this holiday, make a stop at one of the many unique local shops and factories to buy some homemade chocolatey treats for your sweetheart (or yourself… you know, just in case your husband isn’t reading this.) Here are a few suggestions, starting at the Ohio River and working our way up to the Michigan line:
Schimpff’s Confectionary in Jeffersonville
Schimpff’s is an institution around this area of the state. It’s one of the oldest candy businesses in the country and has been owned by the same family (the Schimpff’s) since it opened. Located in the quaint downtown area of Jeffersonville, you won’t want to just drop by Schimpff’s to pick up some chocolates. Instead, make a visit there a part of your weekend plans. Half of the store is a museum dedicated to the history of the shop and the craft of candy-making. It’s truly a fascinating place, and anyone with a sweet tooth or an interest in Indiana history would be delighted to visit.
Best Chocolate in Town in Indianapolis
When my family lived in downtown Indy, a walk to this shop at the northeast end of Massachusetts Avenue was a weekly tradition. You’ll find all kinds of delicious products here, from gelato to baked goods. But trust me on this, you won’t want to pass on the truffles. In fact, this Valentine’s Day I challenge you to expand your culinary horizons and select some of the more exotic flavors they carry here. The Gorg is one of my favorites, and features a hint of gorgonzola cheese. (Again, trust me.)
DeBrand Fine Chocolates in Fort Wayne
A visit to the corporate headquarters of this chocolate maker is on my Indiana travel bucket list. According to their website, you tour three different chocolate kitchens, with samples along the way. Plus, you end your visit in their Chocolate Shoppe. The best kind of shop there is, in my opinion. Public tours are conducted every Tuesday at 10 a.m. and Thursday at 1 p.m. Or call ahead to schedule a private tour. More information about taking a tour is available here.
South Bend Chocolate Company in South Bend
I’ve only had the chance to sample chocolate from this company at some of their franchises around the state. But I enjoyed it enough to know that a trip to their factory would certainly be worth a visit. Not only do you get to try out the products, but there is a chocolate museum with various antique chocolate-making supplies and equipment on display. Tours run throughout the day Monday-Saturday, but please call ahead. More information about the tours is available here.
I’m always looking for new places to try homemade chocolates. What are your favorite Hoosier chocolate shops?