“We are the makers of music and the dreamers of dreams.” – Willy Wonka.
Are you willing to experience the magic of a chocolate factory? Get a cup of coffee and some of the signature chocolate jewels, take a seat in front of their open display kitchen, and enjoy the show. There is no better way to experience Gearharts Chocolates than watching a chocolate waterfall bathe their sweet candies while tasting some of their delicious creations. Inventive combinations include flavors like cardamom and rose, dried Michigan cherries, almonds, hazelnuts, and aged Kentucky bourbon.
Tim Gearhart, the passionate master chocolatier, is a former cook in the Marine Corps with big experience as a pastry chef around the world. He grew up in Charlottesville and here he achieved his own sweet dream: a wonderful place to handcraft delicate chocolates, chocolate bars, dark chocolate dipped fruits, pastries, cakes, cookies, and brownies. He also manages a sister factory in Richmond, VA, but his precious creations can be delivered anywhere in elegantly bowed boxes.
In love with cocoa, Tim pays special attention to the tempering process. He defines it as: “The process of heating and cooling chocolate that allows for the cocoa butter to crystallize in a uniform structure, promoting a smooth texture, glossy shine, and pleasing snap.”
The funny Peanut Butter Pups became one of their top sellers and got national media recognition. As far as their signature line of chocolates, some people prefer the Maya (an ancho chili, orange and cinnamon truffle) and some the Criolla (Venezuelan single bean chocolate ganache with natural cocoa nibs, dipped in dark chocolate). The debate regarding the best Gearharts’ chocolate combination is pretty hot (and certainly very sweet).
Phone: (434) 972-9100
Hours: Mon-Sat 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Text and photo: Edu Bayer