Our Ingredients

No secret – our chocolate is extraordinary because our ingredients are extraordinary.

We’re lucky to live in a state with an incredible history—and a wealth of resources. At Dean’s Sweets, we take full advantage of that bounty, using the highest quality local ingredients in just about everything we make.

Of course, we can’t get locally grown cacao (our summer growing season is too short) and we haven’t tried adding lobster to our chocolate—not yet anyway! But we do count on Maine and Maine farmers for many of our primary ingredients, including:

  • Locally sourced Maine blueberries in our blueberry truffles
  • Organic maple syrup from Madison in our maple truffles
  • Lucky Pigeon beer in our stout truffles
  • Sea salt from Marshfield for our caramels and caramel sauce
  • Butter from Casco Bay Creamery in Scarborough
  • Organic cream from Misty Brook Farm in Albion
  • Locally roasted organic coffee from Coffee by Design in our espresso beans and white mocha hot chocolate
  • Cold River Vodka from Freeport in our famous Needham (coconut) truffles
  • “Blueshine” from Maine Craft Distilling in our Maine moonshine truffles
  • Goat cheese from Sunset Acres Farm in Brooksville in our lemon apricot chèvre truffles
  • One-Pie Pumpkin from West Paris in our pumpkin truffles
  • Moxie soda for our Moxie truffles (love it or love to hate it) is from nearby Bedford, New Hampshire

Belgian Chocolate

Since 2004, the chocolate we’ve used in our truffles, caramels, and other confections has been sourced from the world famous Callebaut Chocolatier—founded in Belgium in the late 1800’s.

Belgian chocolate is produced from cocoa beans from three countries: Ivory Coast, Ghana, and Ecuador, giving it a balanced flavor that our customers have come to love. We’ve also incorporated more sustainable varieties—including organic and fair-trade chocolate—while still maintaining that delicate balance. 

The reasons we’ve stuck with Callebaut are simple:

  • Depth and quality (without excessive fruity or flowery notes)
  • It pairs well with so many flavors, from Champagne to maple syrup
  • Its nut-free products help us ensure the safety of our customers

Peanut and Tree-Nut Free; and Gluten-Free

While nut and gluten allergies in kids and adults is an increasingly common condition, it’s rare to find a chocolate shop that can assure customers there are no nuts or gluten ever—in any product. Since our very first days, Dean’s Sweets has never used nuts or nut products in any of our chocolates, and as of 2023 all of our chocolates are also gluten-free.

Everything we make at Dean’s Sweets is peanut and tree-nut free, and gluten-free, from our truffles and caramels to our hot chocolate and sauces. Our chocolate-making facilities and equipment are also always free of all nuts and nut products, as well as gluten products, providing safe products for anyone with nut and/or gluten allergies. 

Other Uncommonly Good Ingredients

While we source locally whenever possible, there are ingredients we search for far and wide in order to get the best of the best:

  • Laphroaig Scotch Whiskey in our single-malt scotch truffles
  • Gosling’s Rum in our Dark & Stormy truffles
  • Pommery Champagne in, you guessed it, our Champagne truffles
  • Benton’s Smokey Mountain Country Bacon in our bacon buttercrunch, cured with salt, brown sugar, and pepper from Madisonville, TN (no nitrites or nitrates)

We are careful and thoughtful about ingredients, using:

  • Real vanilla extract, never imitation
  • No corn syrup, ever
  • Organic sunflower lecithin instead of soy lecithin in our caramels and buttercrunches
  • Demerara sugar – a natural cane non-GMO sugar from Malawi
  • Dean’s own house-made invert sugar syrup in caramels, caramel sauce, and buttercreams
  • No preservatives and no artificial ingredients

In everything we make, we feel that high-quality and simple ingredients are the keys to the best-tasting chocolates. It’s not so secret that extraordinary chocolates are made from extraordinary ingredients.