Valentine's Day

Say ‘I Love You’ on Valentine's Day With a Box of Specialty Chocolates

Looking for the perfect gift for Valentine's Day? These local chocolates will do the trick.

By Chloé Cuyler February 8, 2023

There's no confection that says "I love you" more than chocolate. And Valentine’s Day only comes once a year, so why not treat your loved one—or yourself!—to a box of luscious, gourmet  local chocolates?

Here are some of the best shops in the area. 

Norman Love Confections

192 N. Cattlemen Road, Unit 7, Sarasota, (941) 777-5507,

Crafting gourmet chocolates is nothing new for Norman Love, who's been in the chocolate biz since 2001. The shop’s 25 signature chocolate flavors include New York cheesecake, peanut butter marshmallow, cupcake and caramel macchiato. Choose from a variety of gift box sizes and bundles, which include some extra chocolatey goodies.

Gabriella Chocolates & Confections

3449 Technology Drive, Ste 103, North Venice, (941) 227-2253,

Venice-based Gabriella Chocolates offers several gourmet truffle collections to choose from for the big V. Liquor dessert truffles, anyone? How about habanero and jalapeno dark chocolate, or Key lime margarita chocolates? Traditional Valentine’s Day gift boxes are also available.

River Street Sweets

318 John Ringling Blvd., Sarasota, (941) 217-4832

An outpost of this 50-year-old Savannah-based chocolate shop is located on St. Armands with offerings including pralines, chocolate sea salt caramels, toffee, bear claws and more. Go for a sampler gift box and thank us later.

Richey's Chocolates

4710 Manatee Ave. W., Bradenton, (941) 761-1500,

Nestled inside a cozy shop on Manatee Avenue in Bradenton, Richey's was founded in in 1949 and has been making hand-dipped chocolates every day for more than 80 years. Options abound for the chocolate lover in your life, from dark and milk chocolates to nut clusters to creams. Sugar-free options are available, too.

Dulcefina Chocolate and Sweets

4221 S. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, (941) 444-1103,

This candy emporium is known for stocking sweets from around the world—you've gotta check out the licorice selection—but it's also a purveyor of all kinds of chocolate, too, from French truffles to Italian chocolate-espresso bars to something called "Mozart Balls" that hail from Germany (actually pralines filled with pistachio and marzipan cream). We suggest making your own chocolate and candy sampler. 

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