Visiting Virginia’s world-renowned candy shops will transport you back to a time when chocolate could fix all your troubles. From franchises selling boxes larger than most children to mom-and-pop shops that handcraft each confection with delicate care, traveling through Virginia has never been so sweet. Check out the 10 best candy stores in the state!
IT’SUGAR Candy Store is a chain that’s so sweet, it’s spreading throughout the United States. Virginia Beach’s location is in the heart of Town Center. IT’SUGAR is known for its trendy takes on candy and world’s largest boxes of candy. Take the 27-pound gummy bear, available for $179.99, for example.
Gearharts Fine Chocolates began in 2001 as one of the first artisan chocolate shops in the United States. The chocolates are world-renowned, having been given as a gift to the President of France. The individual chocolates are a bit pricey, but the handmade care given to the unique flavors, such as Earl Grey and Michigan Cherry, are well-worth the splurge.
The Bonbonnier in Norfolk, Virginia, is known for its baked goods as well as its handmade confections. Recipes and offerings change with the seasons, but the cherry bombs, peanut butter cups, peanut brittle, and butter almond toffee are year-round favorites. Assorted candies include rock candy, jellybeans, and gummies available by the pound.
The Candy Shed and Gifts in Abingdon, Virginia, is an old-school candy shop that sells mainstream favorites, like Tootsie Rolls and Smarties, as well as candy by the pound, retro candy, packaged specialty candies like dark chocolate sea salt, dark chocolate almonds, pecan patties, toffee, and truffles. Toys, sticker books, puzzles, and t-shirts round out the inventory.
For the Love of Chocolate voted “Best Place to Buy Candy” in Richmond Magazine, offers Virginia-made chocolates as well as candy from around the world. The selection of retro and classic candies, fair trade brands, organic, kosher, vegan, and Leonidas is tremendous. Adventurous chocolatiers may want to try their spicy chocolate made with chipotle peppers, bacon chocolate, or Italian Absinthe candy.
The Candy Store in Roanoke, Virginia, is a delight to behold and to shop in. The 1,200 different kinds of candies presented in beautiful jars highlight the colors and exude an atmosphere that’s just plain fun. Bulk pricing is available so you can try an assortment of caramels, licorice, gumballs, chocolates, jellybeans, and taffies.
Red Rocker Candy in Troy, Virginia, sells hand-made and old-fashioned candies and chocolates baked on site. Watch the candy making process through a picture window, then peruse their massive selection of butter crunch-cashes, lemon’d OREO cookies, peanuts-butter toasted, and various gift baskets. Every April, Red Rocker Candy hosts their annual Car Show, “Cruise-In Jack’s Way,” showcasing classic cars, food, and music.
The Chocolate Spike is known for their hand-dipped, handcrafted chocolates, barks, truffles, caramel nut spikes, fudge, and cherry candies with unusual flavor combinations. Gift baskets are made to order, with seasonal treats available including caramel apples in the fall and Easter bunnies for the spring. Make sure to bring your sweet tooth, as most chocolates are sold by the pound.
Elaine Warfel Stauffer, owner of Warfel’s Sweet Shoppe, is a second-generation candy-maker who began selling homemade treats at age eleven. Almost 20 years later, in 1994, she opened Warfel’s where she still makes caramel turtles, chocolate crème truffles, pecan toffee, chili chocolate, Earl Grey bars, nut clusters, barks, salty logs, and more.
Altus Chocolate is themed after the 2000 movie “Chocolat,” and as such aims to bring a “European chocolate house flair, cozy seating, deep community involvement, and a commitment to promotion the welfare of others through the shop.” Altus uses only the highest grade Cacao beans, sourced from fair-trade co-ops. All of their confections are made with pure ingredients such as whole fruits, nuts, and petals, skipping the artificial flavors or chemicals. Altus Chocolate aspires to lofty ideals, and their offerings benefit from the effort.