Sweet! The next wave of the Portland Chocolate Revolution has crashed onto the scene just in time for Valentine's Day. Say hello to Marushka Chocolates and Roll Chocolates, two new confectionary companies handcrafting top-shelf treats from local ingredients (along with the requisite eye towards sustainability).
Who Makes 'Em: After seven years of traditional confectionary production at Pix Patisserie, pastry chef Leila Ellis launched her line of ethically-sourced, sophisticated chocolates boasting grown-up flavor combinations in December 2012. Her specialty is delicately molded chocolate—made from single-origin Chocolate Cordillera from Columbia, a company that creates direct relationships with cocoa farmers and their communities—encasing adventurous seasonal fillings.
The Line-Up: Gorgeous collections of chocolates in chic eco-friendly packaging, with flavor combos like Black Currant Caramel, Jasmine Pearl Tea, Coffee Cardamom, and spicy Salt & Pepper Caramel (made with Thai bird chilis and red chili flakes). Also look for Marushka's Love Bars filled with luscious caramel fillings—think cognac caramel with vanilla fleur de sel and beer caramel made with Hair of the Dog's Adam beer).
Where You'll Find 'Em: Marushka's online pop-up shop is located at marushkachocolates.com, and you can sign up for their mailing list to find out when the shop is open for new orders. The shop is now open for Valentine's Day pre-orders, so get on it! Ellis also takes custom orders at 503-752-9350.
Who Makes 'Em: With a shared love of skateboarding and a shared dream of owning their own sweet shop, Heidi Kreis and Melissa Ballantyne launched a line of dreamy seasonal bon bons at the Lake Oswego Farmers Market in May of 2011. The pair use top-shelf Valrhona chocolate to craft their handmade confections, and have teamed up with Portland artisans like Jacobsen Salt Co. to infuse their treats with local flavors.
The Line-Up: Roll's current short-and-sweet list of chocolate offerings includes Dark Chocolate Walnut, Dulce de Leche Mocha, Coffee Caramel, Black Hawaiian Sea Salt Caramel, Cardamom Caramel, and their best seller, the Jacobsen Sea Salt Caramel. The flavors shift with the seasons—think local berries, spirits, and tropical treats when the weather's right.
Where You'll Find 'Em: Roll Chocolates are regulars at the Lake Oswego Farmers Market, and can also be found at CorksCru, Goose Hollow Gardens, the Adrift Hotel in Long Beach, Washington, and all Made in Oregon shop locations. Follow the Roll gals on their Facebook page for updated info about special events and pop-up shops.
Still looking for a locally-powered Valentine's Day gift for your sweetheart? Both Marushka and Roll Chocolates can be found in the jam-packed gift baskets from KitchenCru—along with treats from Mr. Happy Confectionary Delights, Oregon Bark, and Sterling Cookies—available here.