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There’s farm to table, and then there’s bean to bar. In honor of National Chocolate Day on Oct. 28, visit one of America’s best chocolate companies and take home a sweet souvenir.

Mast offers public tours of its chic Brooklyn factory daily on the hour. Make reservations at mastbrothers.com.


Mast offers public tours of its chic Brooklyn factory daily on the hour. Make reservations at mastbrothers.com | Photo courtesy of MAST

1. MASTBrooklyn, NY:

Brothers Rick and Michael Mast craft their signature chocolate bars, beverages and confections with an emphasis on flavor clarity that’s made their treats a hit in shops worldwide. Regular tastings, kid-friendly story times and splashy release parties for their beautifully packaged chocolate collections mean this chocolatier offers something for everyone.

Xocolatl

Photo courtesy of Xocolatl

2. Xocolatl Small Batch Chocolate Micro-FactoryAtlanta, GA

Partners in business and in life, Elaine Read and Matt Weyandt moved their young family to Costa Rica and apprenticed with local chocolatiers before setting up shop in Atlanta. The basis of their bars is just two ingredients—cacao and organic cane sugar—but they’re not afraid to throw in goodies like peppermint or dried apple. Schedule a tour, which includes a chocolate tasting and wine pairing.

Save the guilt: You're eating fruit. Courtesy of Fruition Chocolate.

Save the guilt: You’re eating fruit | Photo courtesy of Fruition Chocolate

3. FruitionShokan, NY:

Stone-ground cocoa beans are the start of something sweet at this small-batch patisserie in New York’s Catskill Mountains. Please a crowd with the Award Winning Bar Set, which includes confections like Hudson Valley Bourbon Dark Milk 61%, Wild Bolivia 74% Dark and three other bars that have been lauded worldwide.

The tagline for Vosges is "travel the world through chocolate." No passport required. Credit Vosges Haut-Chocolat.

The tagline for Vosges is “Travel the world through chocolate.” No passport required | Photo courtesy of Credit Vosges Haut-Chocolat

4. Vosges Haut-ChocolatChicago, IL:

Comfort food gets a touch of class with elegantly wrapped indulgences like Caramel Marshmallows, Peanut Butter Bonbons and… you know it’s coming… the Milk Chocolate Bacon Bar. Or lessen the guilt when you choose one of the many organic, fair-trade, vegan or superfood options (Pomegranate & Goji Super Dark Chocolate Bar = antioxidants!).

Bijou chocolates

Bijou chocolates | Photo courtesy of Bijou

5. Bijou Fine Chocolate, Shelburne, VT
You can’t go wrong with the Bijou Box, an assortment of truffles and caramels wrapped in gorgeous Japanese chiyogami paper. Handmade in the idillic New England town, the chocolate-covered almonds, orange peels, pretzels and other treats are equally decadent.

At William Dean Chocolates, tours of the small-batch kitchen are available for groups of 12 or more. Photo courtesy of William Dean Chocolates.

At William Dean Chocolates, tours of the small-batch kitchen are available for groups of 12 or more | Photo courtesy of William Dean Chocolates

6. William Dean ChocolatesBellaire Bluffs, FL
The jewel-like confections that made a cameo in the Hunger Games movies will indeed leave you hungry for more. Flavors like Amaretto, Lavender and Apple Pie taste as good as they look. You can also learn to make your own delicacies by enrolling in on-site classes like Artisan Donuts,Chocolate Showpieces and All Things Puff Pastry.

7. Batch PDX, Portland, OR:
Margarita, Earl Grey and Vietnamese Ice Coffee aren’t just drinks. At this small-batch confectionery, they’re handcrafted bonbons. The presentation is tidy but unfussy; available in a half-dozen markets and cafes around Portland.

The Buttermilk White Chocolate Bar is our idea of Southern comfort. Credit Olive & Sinclair Chocolate Co.

The Buttermilk WhiteChocolate Bar is our idea of Southern comfort | Photo courtesy of  Olive & Sinclair Chocolate Co.

8. Olive & Sinclair Chocolate CompanyNashville, TN
Southern charm oozes from confections like the Buttermilk White Chocolate Bar, Duck Fat Caramels and Bourbon Nib Brittle. Factory tours are offered each Saturday; watch as the beans are ground with antique stone mills, in the same way grits are made. Save room for samples.

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Tagged: Florida, Midwest, New York

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Dalia Colon

Dalia Colon

Dalia is a multimedia journalist in Tampa and the Smart Travel Insider for VISIT FLORIDA. Follow her on Twitter @daliacolon.

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