The Southern Agenda

Sweet Southern Chocolate Shops

Five boutique Southern chocolate shops we love—just in time for Valentine’s Day

Illustration: Illustrations by Tim Bower



  • Christophe Artisan Chocolatier-Pâtissier

    Charleston, South Carolina
    French influence is front and center at this Holy City chocolate shop, where Christophe Paume implements his knowledge of all things sweet, gleaned while working in his father’s patisserie as a child in France. Other than hand-painted chocolates, in bites such as lavender caramel, there are a slew of luscious truffles. We’ll take a dozen of the peach pecan, please.—

  • Condor Chocolates

    Athens, Georgia
    At their Athens sweetshop, Peter and Nick Dale celebrate their family’s link to Ecuador: their mother’s birthplace and now where their cacao pods are harvested. At the retail store and café, the brothers give customers a glimpse of the bean-to-bar process while offering a range of treats—alongside their signature chocolate bars are seasonal truffles and chocolate-dipped marshmallows.—

  • Izard Chocolate

    Little Rock, Arkansas
    Nathaniel Izard may be a newcomer when it comes to artisan chocolate, but you’d never guess it from inside his Central Arkansas store. His rich dark chocolate bars, in such varieties as Mylo Coffee and Icelandic Sea Salt, are made in small batches with organic beans from as far away as Madagascar and the Dominican Republic. Wrapped in elegant gold foil and decorative Italian paper, they look as good as they taste. Almost.—

  • Maggie Louise Confections

    Austin, Texas
    Maggie Louise Callahan has been practicing her craft professionally since 2013, but February marks her brick-and-mortar shop’s first anniversary. Showcased in custom jewelry display cases, her playful chocolates come in shapes that range from grass-green robots to midnight-blue mummies. You can spell out Valentine’s messages in metallic dark chocolate letters, or create a custom order.—

  • Phillip Ashley Chocolates

    Memphis, Tennessee
    Strawberry balsamic basil, bacon caramel shortbread, sweet potato, blood orange pink peppercorn, even Memphis BBQ: just a few of the wildly inventive flavors dreamed up by self-taught chocolatier and Memphis native Phillip Ashley Rix. They resemble mini Jackson Pollock paintings—that you can eat.—