Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth With Vermont's Small-batch Chocolates, Cookies and Ice Cream | Kids VT | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

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Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth With Vermont's Small-batch Chocolates, Cookies and Ice Cream


Published May 15, 2019 at 10:00 a.m.

Cookie Love cookies - COURTESY
  • Courtesy
  • Cookie Love cookies
Those of us who live here are pretty sweet on this state — and not because of the abundance of decadent desserts and treats to be found. But let's not kid ourselves; those don't hurt a bit. Don't worry; we'll share! Here are five of our favorite fabulous confection creators.

1. Vermont Cookie Love

Maybe you've bought this all-natural frozen cookie dough in stores, but you can get cookies fresh out of the oven here at the Love Shack, the home base of this family operation. Chocolate chip, triple chocolate chip, mocha chip and oatmeal with dried cranberries are a few of the varieties. The shack added an ice cream window a few years ago, and fans flock to it for cones, sundaes topped with housemade sauces, ice cream sandwiches and frozen chocolate-covered cookie dough on a stick. What's not to love? [location-1]

2. Lake Champlain Chocolates Factory

Lake Champlain Chocolates Factory - COURTESY
  • Courtesy
  • Lake Champlain Chocolates Factory
Truffles, almond butter crunch, milk chocolate macadamia nut caramel clusters, dark chocolate sea salt caramels... We could go on. So many chocolates, almost too pretty to eat, but don't let that stop you. This flagship factory store offers samples as well as free tours on the hour, Monday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m, in the summer. There's no walking; you take a seat on the observation deck above the factory floor to learn chocolate's sweet story. Visitors arriving after or between tours can watch a short video and read information posted on the observation deck. Production runs on weekdays until about 2:30 p.m. Cap off your visit with an espresso, drinking chocolate or housemade ice cream at the in-house café. [location-2]

3. Vermont Nut Free Chocolates

Vermont Nut Free Chocolates - COURTESY
  • Courtesy
  • Vermont Nut Free Chocolates
This company was founded in 1998 by the mother of a little boy with a peanut allergy. Gail Elvidge and her husband, Mark, handmade chocolates in their kitchen for the first two years. Now they sell online and in more than 500 stores nationwide. Their high-end products include sunflower seed butter cups; Skippers, which are similar to M&M's; pretzel caramel bark; granola bars; trail mix; hot cocoa mix; and seasonal specials. This is where it's made. The shop is open Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. [location-3]

4. Ben & Jerry's Factory

  • Courtesy Brooke Bousquet
  • Ben & Jerry's Factory
It's a local legend: A $5 correspondence course from Penn State and a $12,000 investment — $4,000 of it borrowed — launched Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield into ice cream fame. Learn more during a 30-minute factory tour. (Yes, it includes samples.) Tours run seven days a week, 362 days a year. End yours with a trip to the scoop shop and a stroll through the Flavor Graveyard, where you can pay your respects to dearly departed flavors. $3-4; free for children 12 and under. [location-4]

5. Lu•lu

Lu•Lu ice cream - FILE: BRENT HARREWYN
  • file: brent harrewyn
  • Lu•Lu ice cream
Dedicated to a “farm-to-spoon” business model, this shop churns out small-batch ice cream made with local, seasonal products. Known for elegant, eclectic flavors — curried peanut butter, sweet corn and mimosa have all appeared on the menu — Lu•lu also offers upscale renditions of chocolate, vanilla and maple walnut. Find the day’s flavors on Facebook. Open 1 to 9 p.m. seven days a week, May through September.  [location-5]

This article was originally published in Seven Days' monthly parenting magazine, Kids VT.