Vacationland: Why Maine Chocolate is so Darn Good
Sounds good already, doesn’t it?
Here in Maine, we’ve got miles of rocky coastline and cool, clean mountain air. We’ve got lobsters and blueberries and maple syrup. You’ve probably heard of all these wonderful things. What you might not know is what makes Maine-made chocolate stand above the rest.
Why is Maine chocolate so darn good? Let us count the ways!
Award-Winning Maine Chefs
Maine has a strong and thriving foodie community, and chocolate is a big part of the appeal. Portland was named “America’s foodiest small town” by Bon Appetit magazine a few years back, and the city and the state have only bolstered their street cred since. Our state has James Beard award winners and Chopped champions, competing (and cooperating) to bring food creativity and quality to new heights. In a culture defined by craftsmanship, only the best survive.
Dean’s Sweets has grown up in this creative culture—one where standards are high and the culinary experience is taken to heart. When chefs, restauranteurs, bakers, and chocolatiers are willing to collaborate, great ideas are born. And you get to enjoy them.
Dean’s Sweets is proud to be celebrating our 16th anniversary in this amazing town and state, surviving—and thriving—with our neighbors.
Connected to the Land
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
- Allagash Black beer in our stout truffles
- Locally roasted coffee from Coffee by Design in Portland
- Sea salt from Marshfield for our caramels and caramel sauce
- Organic butter from Casco Bay Creamery in Scarborough
- Organic cream from Misty Brook Farm in Albion
- Cold River Vodka from Freeport in our famous Needham (coconut) truffle
- “Blueshine” from Maine Craft Distilling in our Maine moonshine truffles
The Buy-Local Movement
Up and down the coast, and throughout the heart of our state, growing and harvesting food has been a linchpin of Maine’s culture. The bounties we grow and harvest not only nourish us; they attracts visitors from all over the world—and help support our economy. Farmers’ markets are held in hundreds of small towns, with many running throughout the year.
Launched in 2006, Portland Buy Local was one of the first organizations of its kind in the country, sparking a trend that quickly spread to other communities. We credit the buy-local movement in Portland for helping Dean’s Sweets grow from day one.
Without the movement’s emphasis on sustainability, education, marketing, and collaboration, Dean’s Sweets (and the Maine chocolate business writ large) wouldn’t be what it is today. Even in the real-estate market, Buy Local, in conjunction with Portland Downtown Association, helped keep national chains at bay, leaving space and an affordable rental market intact—and allowing us and many other Maine entrepreneurs to start a fledgling business.
If good, sustainable food is the main course of Maine’s economy, then our chocolates—which rely so much on the state’s abundance—are the dessert at the end of a fine meal.
If you haven’t tried Maine-made chocolate, you’re in for a treat! Let us show you all that this beautiful state has to offer. Come into one of our shops on Fore or Cove Street in Portland (COVID safety measures are in place). Or let us ship chocolate directly to your doorstep!