Maya Capasso

As the season to celebrate love with gifts and sweet treats approaches, now is the perfect time to discover or revisit local candy and chocolate companies to pick up something tasty for your loved ones. Whether you’re celebrating Valentine’s Day with a romantic partner or your beloved kids or want to show yourself some love with a delectable treat, here are a couple of candy shops in Central Mass to check out this February. 

Stewart’s Chocolates: Jefferson, MA

You can’t get more local and authentic than Stewart’s Chocolates. Opened in 2014 by Stewart Goodhile, Stewart’s Chocolates emerged from an old New England farmhouse built in 1803 where Goodhile’s great-great-grandparents made their home. Stewart’s Chocolates began as a passion project for Goodhile, who spent years studying cacao and chocolate recipes before perfecting his chocolates and opening his dream business. Goodhile’s dedication to perfection and love of chocolate spreads to his loyal customers, who choose Stewart’s Chocolates time and time again for their gorgeous decorations and unmatched taste. 

Stewart’s Chocolates prides itself on its wide range of chocolate flavors. With over 45, everyone can find a treat they love at Stewart’s. They’ve got classics like the Milk Salted Caramel and their delicious White Chocolate Ganache, but they also offer unique flavors like Vanilla Lavender, Banana Cream, and Chai. You can even build your own box to create the perfect gift that provides your loved ones with all their favorites. 

Hebert Candies & Gifts: Shrewsbury, MA

Hebert Candies & Gifts began as a one-man operation in 1917 when Frederick Hebert began handcrafting chocolates and candies in his kitchen for a growing New England market. By 1946, Hebert bought the mansion that remains the home to Hebert Candies & Gifts to this day. Hebert made history not only by opening the first roadside candy shop in New England but also by gracing us with the delectable treat of white chocolate after visiting Europe to advance his chocolatier skills in 1956. 

To this day, talented confectioners at the Shrewsbury mansion handcraft all of Hebert’s candies and chocolates. The recipes for some of their classic chocolates, like Genevas and white chocolates, stand the test of time. Why change something that people have enjoyed for nearly a century? From chocolate bars to assorted flavor-filled goodies to their seasonal ice cream selection, there’s a tasty treat for everyone at Hebert’s. 

Bri’s Sweet Treats: Worcester, MA

This family-run business emerged from the COVID-19 pandemic to brighten their customers’ days and bring communities together with sweets. Founded by Leicester resident Briana Azier to spread kindness during a time of sorrow and upheaval, Bri’s Sweet Treats recently earned the title of the Worcester Business Journal’s Best New Business in 2023. Another reason Bri’s Sweet Treats earns its spot as one of the best candy shops in town is because they care deeply about their community. They’re always giving back, like donating funds to organizations such as United Way and Abby’s House. 

While Azier has many delectable offerings up for grabs, her most famous is the giant peanut butter cup. Weighing almost a quarter of a pound, Azier fills each peanut butter cup with her delicious peanut butter recipe that took over a year to perfect. If you’re not a peanut fan, there are plenty of options to make your mouth water. Select anything from classics like chocolate-covered Oreos and chocolate-dipped strawberries to unique choices like the breakables and smores cups. You can find Bri’s Sweet Treats at their stall in the Worcester Public Market, but you can also place orders on their website.