People have asked us to recommend chocolates for Mother’s Day, and this year’s recommendation is William Dean Chocolates.
We first encountered the brand at a chocolate show in New York City, a short time after its founding in 2007. The chocolates were—are—stunning, and the story of the chocolatier, Bill Brown, even more so (William is his and his father’s name; Dean is his grandfather).
He is one of the senior business executives we know* who left corporate life to make artisan chocolate.
After watching an episode on The Food Network while a corporate executive, he made truffles for his staff.
He later saw the work of artisan chocolatiers and knew he had found his next calling: to turn his lifelong artistic bent into making beautiful chocolates.
He learned to airbrush and paint chocolates, and to create creamy ganaches with irresistible flavor combinations that are tucked beneath the painted chocolate shells.
He read every book he could find about chocolate, took classes and trailed top chocolatiers to learn even more. Within two years, he was ready to open his doors.
Bill Brown now has a chocolate emporium in Florida, where customers drop in for coffee and chocolates or desserts (wish we were there!), and to buy gift boxes of chocolate or just a quarter-pound treat for the day.
He makes chocolate bonbons in some 30 flavors, from classics like Amaretto, Espresso, Grand Marnier and Passion Fruit to modern favorites like Crème Brûlée, Dulce de Leche, Lavender and Salted Caramel.
Boxes are sold in 5, 10, 15, 20, 30 and 36 pieces. The assortments include dark, milk and white chocolate, although you can order custom boxes.
Boxes range from $ 12 to $ 70. There is a 36-piece assortment in a handsome wood box, but the shop’s standard blue box is beautiful enough (so nice you won’t want to toss the empty box).
Special boxes are available for corporate gifts, weddings and other occasions.
Order at WilliamDeanChocolates.com, and don’t forget a box for yourself!