Food & Drink

Celebrate Valentine's Day with chocolates made in Eastern Iowa

Chocolatiers in Cedar Rapids and Iowa City areas making special sweets for the holiday

Boxes containing chocolates are seen in Anne Goddard owner of A Chocolate Studio, 175 Highway 965 Suite 6, in North Libe
Boxes containing chocolates are seen in Anne Goddard owner of A Chocolate Studio, 175 Highway 965 Suite 6, in North Liberty. (Jim Slosiarek/The Gazette)
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Chocolate confections handmade in the Corridor are the perfect way to show your affection this Valentine’s Day. The chocolate lovers in your life will swoon over the variety of decadent treats available from Marion to Kalona and numerous stops in between.

You can’t go wrong celebrating Valentine’s Day with chocolate and candy — a whopping 86 percent of Americans do. More than 36 million heart-shaped boxes of chocolates are sold each year for Valentine’s Day. The most desirable chocolate fillings? Caramel, chocolate-covered nuts and chocolate-filled chocolates. So says the National Confectioners Association.

In the Corridor, chocolate covered strawberries are a big hit for Valentine’s Day. However, milk chocolate, dark chocolate, white chocolate — whatever your true love’s favorite, you will find something deliciously handmade to show you care.

No sweetie? No problem. Treat yourself.

Local Chocolatiers

Here are a handful of local shops ready to tempt you this Valentine’s Day — or any day:

A Chocolate Studio

• Address: 175 Hwy. 965, Suite 6, Liberty Plaza, North Liberty

• Phone: (402) 476-7475

• Website: achocolatestudio.com

• Hours: 4 to 6 p.m. Wednesday, 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Friday (Pickup hours only)

• Details: Anne Goddards’ handcrafted fine chocolates are works of art made in limited quantities. The Valentine’s Day/Winter Assortment includes her best-selling truffles as well as these special flavors: Caribbean Passion, Cinnamon Meltaways and Strawberry.

Kalona Chocolates

• Address: 211 Fifth St., Kalona

• Phone: (319) 656-3839

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• Website: kalonachocolates.com

• Hours: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Saturday

Order on the website or calling the shop during business hours. Curbside pickup and shipping are available.

For Valentine’s Day, owner Mattie Hershberger dips strawberries in milk chocolate, then drizzles them with white chocolate. The strawberries are available by the half dozen and dozen only on Feb. 12 and 13. Single-serving Heart Cakes are made using a special family recipe. The cakes, white or chocolate, are covered in chocolate, then decorated for Valentine’s Day. Baked to order, these cakes are only available Feb. 3 to 13.

Why give flowers when you can choose Chocolate Heart and Chocolate Rose lollipops (solid milk chocolate) or chocolate dipped Krispie Pops in a variety of flavors. The Hersbergers arrange the pops in tissue paper to look like a bouquet.

The Chocolate Haus

• Address: 4521 220th Trail, Amana

• Phone: (319) 622-3025

• Website: chocolatehaus.com

• Hours: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday and Friday, 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Saturday, and 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Sunday

Gourmet Chocolate Covered Strawberries are available via website pre-order for pickup or delivery. (Local delivery includes Cedar Rapids, Hiawatha, Marion and Robins.) Specially boxed and decorated Valentine’s gift packs. Fudge made from scratch with real grade AA butter and heavy whipping cream. Enroll a long-distance loved one in the Chocoholic Tribe Subscription box.

The Chocolate Shop, Marion

• Address: 1244 Seventh Ave., Marion

• Phone: (319) 377-7597

• Website: marionchocolateshop.com

• Hours: 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday through Saturday

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• Great Holiday Sidewalk Valentine Chocolate Event: Simply go to the shop door, read the instructions and place your order. (No preorders or walk-in retail.)

Hand-rolled, creamy ganache coated milk or dark chocolate truffles are made in batches of 300 by Gae Sharp-Richardson, chocolatier and owner. Her Valentine Truffle Class of 2021 includes Amaretto, Grasshopper, Grand Marnier, Strawberry, Red Raspberry, Peach, Hazelnut, Mocha, Just Milk and Just Dark. Truffles are beautifully packaged in boxes with heart windows “so you can see the truffles in there because they are so pretty.” She made only 1,300 truffles for Valentine’s Day plus about 1,000 Dark Chocolate Sicilian Sea Salt Caramels. When they’re gone, they’re gone.

Sweets and Treats of Iowa City

• Address: First floor, Old Capitol Town Center, 201 S Clinton St, Iowa City

• Phone: (319) 337-6361

• Website: ictreats.com

• Hours: 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday to Sunday

Handmade Chocolate Strawberries, milk chocolate or dark chocolate turtles, heart cocoa bombs and hot cocoa bombs are available for Valentine’s Day. Purchase via walk-in, online ordering, or free local delivery in Iowa City. Order by Feb. 11 for free Friday, Feb. 12 delivery.

Sweetopia Emporium

• Address: Lindale Mall, 4444 First Ave. NE, Cedar Rapids

• Phone: (319) 294-4281

• Website: sweetopiachocolates.com

• Hours: 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday to Saturday, 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday (mall hours)

Bigger than normal berries are chosen for Valentine’s Day Special Dozen Chocolate Covered Strawberries made by Tina Kerslake. She’ll drizzle the berries in white, dark, or milk chocolate, write a special saying, or add some sprinkles. “They can customize their strawberries for Valentine’s.” She also makes solid chocolate hearts and peanut butter cups and truffles with a Valentine’s design. Curbside pickup, delivery, and shipping are available.

Winans Chocolates & Coffee Shop

• Address: 1348 Fifth St., Coralville

• Phone: (319) 337-3125

• Website: winanscoralville.com

• Hours: 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday through Friday

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Small, flavorful strawberries are chosen by Cindy Altmaier Riley for her milk or dark chocolate covered Valentine’s Day strawberries — by request only. “I love the small ones that are a single bite. You get the whole strawberry in one bite.”

Show your love for our state with hand-poured chocolates in the shapes of Iowa (milk or dark chocolate) and the Capitol (milk chocolate).

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We value your trust and work hard to provide fair, accurate coverage. If you have found an error or omission in our reporting, tell us here.

Or if you have a story idea we should look into? Tell us here.