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

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. 

Noela Chocolate & Confections

1405 1st Street, Sarasota, (941) 284-267,

Located in downtown Sarasota, this artisan chocolate shop has a little something for everyone, with flavors including salted caramel, espresso, strawberry and raspberry crème brûlée. Indulge in a 25- to 49-piece box of assorted chocolates or pick up one or two dozen chocolate-covered strawberries

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.

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. 

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