The Best Bean-To-Bar Chocolate Brands You Can Buy

Bean-to-bar chocolate has had a resurgence in America in recent years, with big and small chocolate companies popping up all over the country making delicious chocolate treats. While once upon a time bean-to-bar chocolate companies may have been hard to find, with just about five total in the United States, according to The New York Times, there are now over 250 companies to choose from. 

But how exactly is a bean-to-bar chocolate different from the chocolate you find at your local grocery store? For one, most bean-to-bar companies are small operations, producing much less per year than big names like Hershey's and Nestle. Instead of buying beans for quantity, they typically prioritize the quality and flavor of the bean, as well the ethics of the product. After the beans are acquired in their raw state, the producers work the beans through the chocolate-making process to produce the best, most chocolaty flavor possible. Often only adding one or two ingredients, such as sugar or cacao butter, and rarely adding fillers that large scale producers use. Bean-to-bar procedures are not to be confused with dedicated chocolatiers. Chocolatiers make chocolate confections using pre-made high-quality chocolate, not working directly from the bean. 

Now that the industry is taking off, it can be hard to decide which chocolate companies to try first. Luckily, we have compiled this list of the best bean-to-bar chocolate brands you can buy.

Goodnow Farms

Centuries before Goodnow Farms was a bean-to-bar chocolate enterprise run by the husband and wife team of Tom Rogan and Monica Rogan, it was a working farm in Sudbury, Massachusetts. As the couple recounted to the Chocolate Project, they purchased the farm in 2015 and opened their bean-to-bar company, named after the spot where they craft their chocolate. 

Tom and Monica take great care to ensure they produce a top-quality product. This includes visiting every farm they source from and pressing their own cocoa butter to add to their chocolates to ensure a smooth and delicious bar. All their work has earned them international awards and praise, winning over 100 international awards and raking in more awards in 2021 than any other North American chocolate maker. As Chocolate Connoisseur noted in their review, the award-winning products are just about impossible to resist. Goodnow Farms' chocolate bars and hot cocoa can be purchased from their website.

Raaka Chocolate

Raaka Chocolates is changing the way chocolate is produced. While most producers roast their cacao beans before turning them into chocolate, Raaka would rather let the natural flavor of the cacao beans shine through by using unroasted beans. Now, that's not to say the beans are used as is. Using the traditional fermentation process, Raaka's method develops the flavor pallet of the chocolate and raises the beans' temperature to about 120º Fahrenheit. Not exactly roasting temperature, but still very hot.

Once they have their beans, they make sure the best beans are used for each bar. Unlike large commercial producers, who blend all beans, Raaka picks which beans are fruitier and earthier and uses them for bars that best highlight that flavor. As Chocolate University Online wrote in their glowing review of the Bourbon Cask Aged bar, "This isn't your run-of-the-mill chocolate bar. ... It's other worldly!" Raaka offers a full range of bars available on their website.

Maui Ku'ia Estate

You have heard of bean-to-bar. But what about tree-to-bar? That's right, at Maui Ku'ia Estate, they have the cacao trees that they use to make all of their chocolate. Located on Maui, the company is the largest chocolate factory in the state of Hawaii. Maui Ku'ia Estate produces all the cacao used to make their chocolate bars, which come in a selection of dark and milk chocolates. In addition to their chocolates, Maui Ku'ia Estate is committed to sustainability efforts and reducing their carbon footprint. They source their own cacao, and their factory is entirely solar-powered and off-grid, making it the largest off-grid commercial factory in Maui. And if you're interested in getting a good look at how the sausage, er, chocolate is made, you can book a tour of the farm. And yes, you get to try some of the product on said tour. As Discovering Hidden Gems recounted, "The tour ends with an amazing 9-piece chocolate tasting in an awesome treehouse overlooking the ocean." Doesn't sound so bad, eh?

To try some Maui Ku'ia Estate chocolate, you can either order it from their website or visit their store, which features a chocolate bar. In addition, their chocolates are available in adorable single-serving squares, so you don't have to worry about committing to just one type of chocolate.

Dandelion Chocolates

Dandelion Chocolates has made small-batch quality chocolates since 2010. Simple is what they aim for. But don't be fooled; simplicity does not equal low quality. Quite the opposite, as the people at Dandelion Chocolates take great care to ensure their chocolates go above and beyond. They focus on single origin bars, and those chocolate bars contain just two ingredients: cacao beans and sugar. To ensure quality, the people at Dandelion visit their producers regularly to ensure the beans and the fermentation is up to their standards. They then use those beans in conjunction with organic cane sugar to produce their whole line of bars, hot chocolates, and baking chocolates. It is a minimalistic approach, but one that allows the authentic rich flavor of the chocolates to show. As Serious Eats wrote, "This is how chocolate should be—complex and alive but balanced, not unhinged."

Dandelion Chocolates can be purchased through the online store or one of several storefronts, including locations in Japan.

Solstice Chocolate

Per Utah's Own, the seeds for Solstice Chocolate were planted when DeAnn Wallen accidentally left a bar of chocolate in her car. The melted confection got her interested in the mechanics of making chocolate, and as a long-time chocolate lover, the following steps were clear. After refining a pallet for high-quality chocolate, Wallen set out to find the best beans to produce the most amazing bars.

The company focuses on single origin flavors, allowing the taste of the soil and environment where the cacao beans were produced to show through in all their glory. Bars of their chocolate are available for purchase on their website and come wrapped in recyclable packaging. What's more, thanks to the resealable wrapper, no more will we have to maneuver foil or paper to attempt to cover the top of our chocolate bar when we don't finish it in one sitting.

The chocolate's gotten some buzz. In their 2018 roundup of notable bean-to-bar chocolate companies, Forbes wrote, "Solstice seeks out unique beans from all over the world to create incredible bars that do them justice."

French Broad Chocolate

Business partners Dan Rattigan and Jael Skeffington are no strangers to the chocolate-making business, with French Broad Chocolate being the second chocolate venture for the pair. Located in Asheville, North Carolina, French Broad started as a chocolate lounge where people could come and indulge in delicious treats. However, they soon outgrew the ability to keep up with the demand for their chocolate, and in 2012 Rattigan and Skeffington opened the French Broad Chocolate Factory and Tasting Room, where they created bean-to-bar treats for the world. Like Solstice Chocolate, French Broad Chocolate made Forbes' 2018 list of can't miss bean-to-bar chocolates.

Their product line has expanded dramatically. In addition to bars of chocolate, French Broad offers exquisite bonbons made with their bean-to-bar chocolate and an assortment of delectable fillings. They also offer baking chocolate and cacao nibs. They even have a line of chocolate candles and soaps, the latter of which features Peruvian Cocoa butter. Their chocolate creations can be purchased on their website or at any of their three Asheville locations.


KahKow's story dates all the way back to 1905, when the Rizek family founded Rizek Cacao in the Dominican Republic. The company set to work growing, producing, and exporting chocolate worldwide. In 2019, the company decided to expand and opened KahKow Chocolate Factory in New York City, where they produce award-winning single origin chocolates and cacao products.

Guests can tour the factory to get the full KahKow experience or sign up to make cocoa butter soaps. They offer a chocolate bar where chocolate drinks and snacks can be purchased and both an in-person and online store. Refined cacao products such as cocoa butter and nibs can be bought. And in a show of community support, in addition to selling their own quality products, their website has an entire section dedicated to other bean-to-bar chocolate producers called the Chocolate Wall. It is a one-stop shop for all things cacao.

And don't worry, if you tour this factory, there's little chance of turning into a giant blueberry. As chocolatier Damion Badalamenti told CBS2 in 2019, "This is not Willy Wonka. It's not chocolate fountains and tubes. That's dramatic but this is very real. It's the art of making chocolate from roast to finish."

LetterPress Chocolate

LetterPress Chocolate sprouted from a genuine passion. Husband and wife team David Menkes and Corey Menkes did not initially set out to create a chocolate company. But after visiting cocoa farms while on a trip to St. Lucia, they discovered that they were very into learning about the process of making chocolate. 

They started a blog reviewing bean-to-bar chocolates, David went to Hawaii to study all things cocoa, and the two began making chocolate at home. One thing led to another, and by 2017, they'd moved into their first commercial space. Their bars, which are available on their website, are each packaged in beautiful wrappers. In addition, many of their bars are molded into the company's logo, adding a layer of elegance. 

LetterPress offers standard options such as single origin bars and flavored bars, white chocolate bars, and sugar-free chocolate bars that are 100% Dark Chocolate for the brave at heart. Of the award-winning Ucayali Private Reserve 70% Dark Chocolate bar, Dark Matters Chocolate Reviews wrote, "A delicate bar with subtle flavor notes that change throughout the tasting experience."

Castronovo Chocolate

Denise Castronovo is an ecologist by trade who founded Castronovo Chocolates in 2013. Her passion for ecology and chocolate has come together beautifully to create a tasty and ethical product. Castronovo uses her platform to protect the rainforest and support the communities from which she sources her beans. Part of what makes Castronovo Chocolates so special is their use of wild and heirloom varieties of chocolate. Their online store gives details and the history of where the cacao beans are sourced, bringing indigenous cultures back into the chocolate narrative.

With all the thought and unique flavors put into her bean-to-bar company, it is no wonder that Castronovo has gone on to be so highly awarded, becoming the first United States female chocolate maker to win accolades at the International Chocolate Awards. Interestingly one of Castronovo's highest winning chocolates are from their white chocolate collection, White Chocolate with Lemon and Sea Salt. An assortment of chocolate goodies can be purchased at their online store, or call ahead and place an order for pick-up at their factory in Florida.

Taza Chocolates

Taza Chocolates embraces tradition by producing and packaging stone ground Mexican-style chocolates. When founder Alex Whitemore went on a trip to Oaxaca, Mexico, he instantly fell in love with the traditional stone ground chocolate he found there. Upon returning to Somerville, Massachusetts, Whitemore decided to try his hand at crafting chocolate inspired by his excursion. And with that, Taza was born. 

The chocolate produced through stone mills is less smooth and offers a bit more grit than its highly processed counterpart, which the company says allows the bean's flavor to show better. Regarding Taza's process, The Full Helping gushed, "The chocolate that results does not have the texture of conventional chocolate: instead, it has a granular mouthfeel. This sounds weird, I know, but it's really delicious."

Taza notes on their website that they source all of their cacao beans Direct Trade Certified, which ensures that the cacao producers are compensated fairly for their products. Their chocolates can be purchased at the Factory Store or at their online store, where they sell chocolate bars, discs, and snacks. If you are able to make it to the factory for a tour, you are in luck, but for those who can't, Taza also sells virtual chocolate tasting kits to experience all the chocolaty goodness from the comfort of your own home.

Fruition Chocolate Works

These chocolates are out of this world to look at. The people at Fruition Chocolate Works have not just created a line of small batch bean-to-bar chocolates; they have a whole line of chocolate confections that look as well as taste great. Fruition is located in upstate New York, where founder Bryan Graham was first inspired by a love of confections while staying on his grandmother's farm. Bryan has a degree from the Culinary Institute of America and worked with Jacques Torres — yes, as in "Nailed It!" star Jacques Torres. He developed a passion for small batch chocolate, and he and wife Dahlia Graham went on to open Fruition Chocolate Works.

It took the couple trial and error to find why it worked for them. Fruition Chocolate Works started first with beans from Costa Rica but then switched to Peruvian. They only use Fair Trade and Direct Trade beans and travel to producers to find the best beans for their products. In 2021, Bon Appétit highlighted their 68% dark milk chocolate bar, writing, "[W]e are talking about a bar of chocolate that, in my opinion, is the absolute best that can be obtained by mere mortals." Fruition Chocolate Works products can be purchased online or at their gift shop in Shokan, New York.

Dick Taylor Chocolate

In 2010, friends Adam Dick and Dustin Taylor had become enamored of the bean-to-bar scene in the United States and wanted to be a part of it. So they launched a factory in Eureka, California, and got to it. Dick Taylor Chocolate has since grown to a place of prominence in the very chocolate world they both loved. 

Per the company site, Dick Taylor Chocolate searches for the top 1% of cacao grown so that it can produce the best chocolate possible. The company sources from Direct Trade farmers. When the cacao beans make it to the factory, they are roasted and processed before being turned into their chocolate creations. Finally, each bar's wrapper is hand letterpressed using presses restored by the owners. With the love and care provided to each bar, it is no wonder they have won a slew of accolades over the years and fans far and wide. In their enthusiastic review, Mostly About Chocolate concluded, "Whatever reason you may have for wanting to buy a bar of chocolate, make it one of the Dick Taylor range." The bars can be purchased at retail locations around the country or on their website.

Askinosie Chocolate

Like so many people who launch a small business, the father and daughter pair behind Askinosie Chocolate took a bit of a gamble when they got into the chocolate game. As they detail on the company website, Shawn Askinosie ditched his law career and pivoted to chocolate, and his college-age daughter Lawren Askinosie helped him get the business off the ground. In their mission statement, they make it abundantly clear that they're all about practicing good ethics. "We're dedicated not just to making the best quality chocolate you can buy, but to making it in such a way that the more you learn about it, the better you feel about it," Shawn promises on their site. Askinosie Chocolate uses Direct Trade cacao, and they release their transparency report to the public with the hope that more companies will follow suit. 

The company has garnered some major fans. In their review of several of Askinosie's products, Mostly About Chocolate proclaimed, "This chocolate reminds me that my standards are not too high, everyone else's are too low."

Escazú Chocolates

Escazú Chocolates is a chocolate company located in Raleigh, North Carolina. They have been operating since 2008, when bean-to-bar companies were few and far between in the United States, and as ABC11 noted, even rarer was to find one entirely led by women. Named after Escazú, Costa Rica, Danielle Centeno and Tiana Young run the outfit together. Chatting with local PBS series "North Carolina Weekend," Centeno and Young noted that they have the quality of their ingredients plus the quality of their work environment to thank for their terrific product. 

Their storefront in Raleigh offers chocolate bars, bonbons, drinking chocolate, and ice cream. Prior to the pandemic, they didn't have much of an online business, but now many of their products are available for order pick-up and shipping. We are grateful that now we can buy the full range of chocolate goodies to consume wherever we are.


Very little information on the company's history is available on Ethereal's website. One can only assume that owners Mary Ervin and Sara Miller want their chocolate to speak for themselves. And that it does; from the moment you land on the homepage, you are drawn in by a looming bar of chocolate that leads you to crave more.

And that is just how Ervin and Miller got started in chocolate. In an interview with Cocolectic, the pair said the chocolate is what brings you to this business. As soon as you try it, you are hooked, and before you know it, you own a bean-to-bar chocolate company. We are certainly glad these two could not quit chocolate. The pair clearly put time and care into their products, sourcing most of their beans from central and south America and using just three ingredients: cacao, sugar, and cacao butter. They produce a selection of single origin chocolate bars, flavored bars, and other chocolate products available on their website and at their store in Woodstock, Illinois.

Lillie Belle Farms

Lillie Belle Farms is the psychedelic wrapped chocolates any free spirit wants in their life. Founder Jeff Shepherd started Lillie Belle Farms as a small operation selling at his local farmer's market. The name is derived from his wife and daughter, who have stood by him as the company has grown. Now having been in existence for over 20 years, Lillie Belle Farms is one of the oldest chocolate companies on this list.

Shepherd approaches his chocolate making as an artist. He wants to make chocolate that evokes feeling and connection, and it seems he succeeds. In their review of the shop, stated, "Don't be afraid to experience different combinations that might not sound good on paper, but once they hit your tongue you end up going home with a box or two of the tiny delights." 

Many of the ingredients used to flavor their confections are from the farm itself, bringing even more small scale goodness to each treat. To purchase Lillie Belle Farms chocolates, you can order from their website's wide selection of bars, bonbons, and other chocolate goodies.


Maverick Chocolate is a family-run affair. The company was founded by the husband and wife duo of Paul Picton and Marlene Picton, is co-owned by their son Ben Picton, and features other son Scott Picton on the employee roster. The Pictons got their start making chocolate in their own kitchen, and by 2014, they were established enough to open up their first store. 

Maverick uses only Direct Trade beans for their chocolates, ensuring farmers are compensated fairly for their work. After preparing the beans and grinding them, the chocolate is allowed to age before being tempered to allow the flavors to mellow. Evidently, this process yields great results. When the family opened a second location in 2018, the Cincinnati Enquirer wrote, "The chocolate is high-quality and rich, and they come in interesting flavors." Their chocolate products are available on their website or at either of their two retail locations.

Potomac Chocolate

After being introduced to fine chocolate by his brother and sister-in-law, there was no going back for Potomac Chocolate's Ben Rasmussen. As he shared on the company website, he no longer craved what he'd once considered to be his go-to candy, Three Musketeers. He also decided to get into fine chocolate in a big way, launching his chocolate company in the DC area in 2010. 

He starts with two basic ingredients: cacao and sugar. While one might think his processing might follow that of other chocolate makers, you would be wrong. While the basic process is the same, Rasmussen has custom-built the equipment in his factory to fit his needs. And this seems to be working, as the bean-to-bar company has received many awards and accolades. "There are a million variables in chocolate-making, and every one of them is going to affect the final chocolate, so how I twiddle those bits—that's what produces my chocolate," he told Northern Virginia magazine.

Potomac Chocolate bars, which come in resealable packaging, are available on the company's website and at the brick and mortar location in Occoquan, Virginia.


TC is short for Terroir Chocolates. Terroir, a term typically used to describe wines, is the flavor imparted on the wine by its environment. As anyone who has ever had single origin chocolate knows, this chocolate is a robust and diverse vessel that contains a magnitude of flavors. Founders Kristin Mohagen and Josh Mohagen set out to make a chocolate that highlighted and engaged with all the chocolate's flavors.

Every ingredient is chosen with intention. As Kristin told Greater Fergus Falls, "My background in pastry led me to chocolate and a lifelong journey to create the best bean to bar experience that I could." TC does its best to show chocolate at its peak, going so far as to provide a guide on its website for how to best taste chocolate. While the company offers plain dark chocolate, some of their best sellers include flavors such as Smoked Maple Brittle and Cardamom Krumkake Milk. Their handcrafted bars of chocolate are available on their website.

Manoa Chocolate

While he was still working toward earning his sustainable development degree, Dylan Butterbaugh decided to start a sustainable business of his very own in his home state of Hawaii. When he launched Manoa Chocolate, a bean-to-bar enterprise, much of the equipment was makeshift. As he recounted on the company site, "Some of our original pieces of equipment involved a barbecue to roast and a tricycle-powered winnower to separate the cacao shells from the nibs!"

While their equipment has changed over the years, it seems like Moana Chocolate's priorities haven't shifted. In their recap of the factory tour, Roaming Hawaii noted, "You can tell with each of the employees that the company is very serious about their 'bean-to-bar' philosophy and wanting to advance the craft chocolate industry." If you are unable to make it to their factory to try the chocolate, Manoa Chocolates are available for purchase on their website.

Lonohana Estate Chocolate

Our final pick is another Hawaiin chocolate company. Lonohana Estate is a tree-to-bar chocolate company located on Oahu that grows their own cacao. Unlike, say, the basil you might plant in your yard, it takes years for cacao trees to grow from seedlings. Evidently, taking this extra step pays off in a big way. As Only In Your State noted, "From seed to tree and bean to bar, the entire process is controlled here, and you can truly taste the difference."

Lonohana Estate offers a chocolate subscription service that puts chocolate on your doorstep once a quarter called Chocolate Club. There is even a lifetime option for those with a little extra cash where the company will send you three bars per quarter for the rest of your life. Yes, seriously. If you aren't ready to commit to a subscription situation, you can order individual bars off of their website or visit the store in Honolulu.