Alaska Chocolate: Anchorage Chocolatiers & Chocolate Retailers

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When you think of Alaska, chocolate is probably not the first thing that comes to mind. The majority of tourists come to take in the breathtaking scenery and participate in outdoor activities like trekking on Root Glacier. It should come as no surprise that the state’s chocolate culture is not well established. Despite this, I was still able to locate a sizable variety of handmade chocolate bars that were either created in the United States or were imported from other countries. This is evidence that the culture of exquisite chocolate has found its way into the brains of some contemporary Alaskans.

It’s true that Alaska doesn’t have a very large variety of high-quality chocolate, but things are improving, and I just so happened to know a local chocolate connoisseur who could teach me the ropes.

Following this, we will discuss chocolatiers and chocolate retail outlets, of which one in each category clearly distinguished themselves as the best. However, each of the chocolatiers and stores provides something that none of the others provide, which is what makes them each an essential component of the landscape.

Also worth noting is that Chugach Chocolate, another chocolatier with roots in Anchorage, does not yet operate a retail location of their own. In addition, every one of their items is manufactured using materials that have been subjected to alkali processing, which further diminishes my confidence in endorsing the company. On top of that disheartening conclusion, I was saddened to learn that the well-known Modern Dwellers Chocolate Lounge had closed down in order to concentrate on other initiatives just before this piece was published.

Although Alaskan handmade chocolate does not yet have a permanent location of its own, it does have a loyal following among chocolate enthusiasts.

Alaskan Chocolatiers & Chocolate Maker

Wildland Chocolate

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Wildland Chocolate is very new to the handmade chocolate scene, and as far as I am aware, they are the only chocolate manufacturer in the whole state of Alaska, let alone all of Anchorage. The year 2019 marked the beginning of the company’s sales operations; however, at this time, the products may only be obtained via online special order and at traditional farmer’s markets. They are now collaborating with a variety of chocolate companies, including Ucayali River and Kokoa Kamili, among others.

Sweet Chalet

Sweet Chalet created such a nice effect on me. Sweet Chalet managed to excel in both quality and complexity, in contrast to the vast majority of other gorgeous chocolates I eat, which fall short on both counts. Perhaps it was the decade that the chocolatier worked at a hotel in Beverly Hills, or perhaps it was the past four years that she has owned the store, but at some point in time, she was able to hone her abilities to an expert level. The head chocolatier of Sweet Chalet creates a wide range of candies using a variety of components, including Swiss chocolate, fresh ingredients, and advanced painting techniques.

The collection of hand-painted bonbons that are inspired by the aurora borealis is the shop’s most well-known confectionary offering.

Their branch at Anchorage’s world-famous Captain Cook Hotel is really a larger version of their shop, and inside it they have an astonishing array of gift-ready chocolate items in addition to their selection of dozens of different kinds of bonbons. When you take into account the fact that they are located in the basement of one of the most well-known hotels in Alaska, in the capital city of the state, it is not unexpected that when you first look at them your vision will be overwhelmed.

However, do not let the wide variety of options overwhelm you. Take a look to your left and choose some truffles from the multicolored Aurora collection or the square-shaped Ganache truffles. There is a very good explanation for why Business Insider selected them as the greatest chocolate available in Alaska in the year 2016.

Address: 300 E Dimond Blvd STE 202, Anchorage, AK 99515, USA (2 locations; see map below)

Hours & Prices: 10am-6pm, Mon.-Sat. {closes 4pm Saturdays} ($2-3 per truffle)

Alaska Wild Berry

The Wild Berry brand is unmistakably associated with mass-produced chocolates. Their stores exude an air of nostalgia, calling to mind the nostalgic confectionery stores seen in the main streets of small-town America that also happen to sell chocolate. They provide an incredible variety of locally produced goods, but the majority of their chocolates are kept in the display case at the front of the shop. These chocolates are priced according to their weight and are available in a variety of fillings.

Even if you don’t think of Alaska chocolate very often, when you do, you probably think of Wild Berry. Personally, I’d want to break that automatic association, but I doubt it will happen. My favorite product of theirs was their raspberry jelly, but everything else I purchased had a flavor that was quite industrial and bland. It lacked the cocoa flavor and the depth of a good quality chocolate. These are the pre-packaged chocolates that you purchase for your coworkers moments before you board your flight in case you realize that you forgot to bring them a keepsake.

However, in the same mall as the downtown store, there is another a bakery known as Cake Studio that serves great filled truffles for the price of $2.25 and a reasonable cup of coffee. The passion fruit is a cheese cake-like recreation of the traditional French taste, while the other two dozen coffee-based beverages are all produced with locally roasted coffee beans and will warm you up regardless of the weather in Alaska. If you happen to be in the neighborhood, make it a point to stop by and show them some affection.

Address: 5225 Juneau St, Anchorage, AK 99518, USA (2 locations; see map below)

Hours & Prices: 10am-9pm, daily {hours vary hugely outside summertime; see here for hours} ($1 per truffle)

Alaskan Chocolate Retailers

La Bodega

Even though Anchorage’s Modern Dwellers Chocolate Lounge will be shutting its site after 11 years, immediately next door is La Bodega, a liquor shop that also offers a modest range of artisanal goods. The Modern Dwellers Chocolate Lounge has been in business in Anchorage for 11 years. For our good fortune, this also offers a fairly extensive assortment of artisan chocolate bars crafted by a number of different producers.

When I traveled, I was able to bring back a few chocolate bars from Cloudforest and Cultura, two firms based in the United States that produce chocolate with some unique taste profiles. They spent years trying to persuade various manufacturers to allow them to stock their bars; thus, I do not anticipate that they will quit stocking exquisite chocolate any time soon.

Please be aware that in order to acquire anything from La Bodega, you must first prove to them that you are at least 21 years old. This is the case even if you are only purchasing chocolate bars.

Address: 530 E Benson Blvd #5, Anchorage, AK 99503, USA (see map below)

Hours & Prices: 10am-9pm, Mon.-Sat. {12pm-7pm, Sun.} ($3-10 per bar)

Natural Pantry

Natural Pantry was more or less as stated, with the exception that the variety of chocolate was even bigger than that of Amazon’s recent purchase of Whole Foods. I was told that Natural Pantry serves as a fill-in for Whole Foods. Because their shelves were stocked with bars and extended up far into the air, I couldn’t help but feel like a child gazing up at a wall of candy. Only the chocolate department had its own aisle, which was located to the right of the pay registers, in the vicinity of the front of the shop. They sell the usual Whole Foods brands such as Theo, Salazon, and Newman’s Own, among others; but, they also brought to my notice several new manufacturers.

Natural Pantry is the best place to go if you can only make one trip for chocolate in Alaska and you want to nibble on a broad variety of bars that are made with ethically sourced ingredients. Although you won’t find any small-batch exquisite chocolate manufacturers in this area, you can pick up some excellent dark milk bars and even some bars made by Alaskan chocolatiers like Chugach.

Address: 3680 Barrow St, Anchorage, AK 99503, USA (see map below)

Hours & Prices: 9am-9pm, Mon.-Sat. ($3-7 per bar)

New Sagaya Midtown

The selection at New Sagaya is comparable to that found in a normal Whole Foods or health food shop, with the exception that it does not include a significant amount of locally produced goods. They keep a wonderful mix of better grade high-distribution bars like as Theo & TCHO & Alter Eco, certain European candy bars, and lesser quality brands such as Endangered Species and Chocolove in their inventory. Even if their chocolate assortment does not have anything especially special to offer, it is rather extensive for Anchorage and is definitely something to look into for the imports. Aside than that, it’s simply your standard upscale grocery shop, albeit with a stronger focus on Asian cuisine and an expanding chocolate collection.

Address: 3700 Old Seward Hwy, Anchorage, AK 99503, USA (see map below)

Hours & Prices: 6am-10pm, Mon.-Sat. {8am-9pm, Sun.} ($3-6 per bar)

Summit Spice & Tea Co.

Craft chocolate can be found here, making this the best place in Alaska to get it. As far as the selection goes, there are a few dozen manufacturers that are represented here, and these manufacturers are not only from the United States but also from other countries such as Switzerland, Vietnam, and even farther away. Although it is obvious upon entering that the store focuses on tea and spices, as the name of the establishment may imply, the first item that catches your eye is the handmade chocolate corner. I was very taken aback by how many different options they give, and a friend of mine who lives in the area highlighted that the variety is always evolving and expanding.

You could go in one day and purchase a bar that you end up falling in love with, only to discover that the next time you walk in, you are unable to locate it.

Therefore, those who are obsessed with chocolate in Anchorage should hang out here. They also have caramels and sauces made by chocolate manufacturers and chocolatiers from all over the globe, making it simple to put together a delicious chocolate gift basket or present for the hostess. If you are hesitant about spending so much money on a single bar, make sure to examine their sale rack next to the cash register. This is where all things from their shop will migrate as they are getting close to their best-by date (keep in mind that dark chocolate essentially does not go bad!).

Address: Denali Building, 3030 Denali St #2, Anchorage, AK 99503, USA (see map below)

Hours & Prices: 10am-7pm, Mon.-Sat. {11am-6pm, Sun.} ($3-16 per bar)

Fire Island Rustic Bakeshop

Even though this establishment does not specialize in chocolate, it is without a doubt one of the most excellent bakeries I have ever patronized. When our hosts suggested that we go to her friend’s bakery, which was “only a few of miles away,” we first resisted. However, when they promised us fresh scones and chocolate chop cookies, we gave in. Boy, am I happy we did. These cookies had the ideal amount of softness and moisture, and the chocolate chips were melty and gooey without being too sweet or gritty and harsh.

If you are fortunate enough to visit one of the three sites of this bakery, two of which opened only on the past year, then I suggest that you sample both a chocolate chip cookie and some form of bread while you are there. Two of the locations opened just on the last year. It wasn’t for his much-lauded abilities on the guitar that their head chef was a semi-finalist for a “Outstanding Baker” James Beard award (something we had no heard of before attending), but there is a reason for this.

Address: 1343 G St, Anchorage, AK 99501 (3 locations; see map below)

Hours & Prices: 7am-6pm, Wed.-Sun. ($2-3 per cookie)

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