Heavenly Chocolate, Northampton, MA

Heavenly Chocolate 150 Main Street (in Thorne’s Market), Northampton, Massachusetts

Recently a friend brought me a small box of beautiful dark chocolates as a hostess gift. Several days passed before I got around to sampling one, but after a single bite I knew these candies were out of the ordinary. And, here’s the surprising part of this story. The chocolates were not from New York or Paris or some other metropolitan center where you’d expect to find superb artisanal confections. No, they from a shop in Northampton, Massachusetts, the next town over from mine.

Several days ago, I went over to purchase some of these celestial sweets, and was lucky enough to meet Bud Stockwell, the “maître chocolatier” himself. I learned that after a long career in the world of natural foods, he had taken up chocolate making and worked hard to learn his craft. His efforts have resulted in some of the best and most inventively flavored chocolates I’ve ever sampled. Made in small batches with the highest quality ingredients (many organic and local), and fashioned into a variety of shapes with sublime tastes and textures, these candies could easily become addictive.

You can order them on line, opting for one of the boxed collections or creating your own sampler. Among those I’ve tried the Lavender Sea Salt Caramels, Peanut Butter Sizzles, and Dark Chocolate Rochers all transported me to a heavenly state.

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