Chocolate abounds in American supermarkets, but Brooklyn bodegas boast small-batch artisanal incarnations of the sweet that are so popular they are, despite being decidedly elite, increasingly mainstream. There are even plenty of local chocolatiers in BK so proud of their chocolate-making process they want you to come visit them in their factories to see for yourself.
You don’t need a golden ticket nor more than 10 bucks to take tours around most of the Brooklyn chocolate factories open to visitors. It’s a more affordable experience than some of these brands’ chocolate itself. So hold your breath, make a wish, scroll down past the jump and come with us to a world of pure imagination.
64 Seabring St., Red Hook
While the factory was established in 2010, Raaka Chocolate was initially conceived in an apartment. The move to a formal space came only after the chocolate’s popularity demanded it. Flavors include pink sea salt, coconut milk and maple & nibs.
A factory tour takes 45 minutes and can be booked online for Fridays at 6pm and at noon, 1pm and 4pm on Saturday or Sunday, depending on the time of year. Tours cost $10. For a higher rate ($50) you can take a class on chocolate making.
Fine and Raw
288 Siegel St., East Williamsburg
Fine & Raw was begun in a “notorious” Williamsburg loft by founder Daniel Sklaar, according to the company’s website, which is full of words like “nonsensical” and “silliness” in describing the brand. With his friends’ encouragement, Sklaar began delivering his chocolate by bicycle to small outlets before moving up to bigger retailers.
A factory tour takes place every day between the hours of 10am and 6pm. There is no fee, and tours are 20 to 30 minutes long.
68 35th St., Greenwood Heights
Li-Lac Chocolates was born in 1923 when George Demetrius, a Grecian who’d studied chocolate making in France, came to NYC and opened his own shop in Greenwich Village. Jump eight decades later, and in typical NYC fashion the longstanding business was “forced to relocated” and the production facility displaced to Brooklyn, according to the company’s website. Highlights of their delicious creations include almond bark, butter crunch and walnut caramel bars. Just that combination of words has us salivating.
Factory visiting hours are 10am to 5pm Monday to Friday and don’t cost a penny.
218 Conover St., Red Hook
Daniel Prieto Preston, an inventor and aerospace engineer, had another passion: chocolate. His family owns Coralina Farms in the Dominican Republic and farmed organic cacao, which is used to make chocolate. Take your pick of any deliciously made products available: Bark Bars, Hot Chocolate, Criollo Bars (which is a cacao strain in the farm), and more.
Walk-in factory tours will run you $20 and are offered Saturdays and Sundays at noon, 2pm, and 4pm. Private tours are $30 and available by appointment.
Mast Brothers Chocolate
111 N. 3rd St., Williamsburg
In 2007, the brothers Michael and Rick Mast founded Mast Chocolate and opened their new chocolate factory in Williamsburg. While their product has been served some pretty damning accusations over the years, history will undoubtedly see them as two of gentrified hipster chocolate’s founding fathers, and for that they’re worth a visit.
Public tours are $10 and offered Monday to Friday at 4pm and weekends at noon and 3pm. Children under 10 are free. You can walk-in or book a spot ahead of time online.
Follow Shipra at Twitter @shipra_thenote