BY MORGAN CHITTUM
Valentine’s Day is around the corner, and Queens offers some of the most popular handmade chocolates in New York.
Since 2017, Aigner Chocolates in Forest Hills has been voted as the Best Chocolatier in Queens in the Bethpage Best of the Boro competition; it also won the competition’s Best Candy Store award in 2018. The 2019 awards were determined by over 100,000 votes.
Aigner is one of the oldest chocolate shops in New York, opening their doors back in 1930 by first generation Austrian immigrants. The Aigners ran the shop for three generations until 2015 when Mark Libertini and Rachel Kellner took over. Although ownership has changed, each piece of chocolate is still handmade, upholding their reputation for some of the best chocolate in Queens.
Middle Village has a party store and chocolate shop that can create specialized chocolate moulds for their customers. Along with their large selection of moulds, Fun Stuff also has a wide array of unique items for sale such as edible images, printed sashes, invitations, balloons and even baby shower gifts.
Schmidt’s Confectionery on Jamaica Avenue in Woodhaven has made German handcrafted candies for over 90 years. Current owner Margie Schmidt still utilizes some of those same recipes that her grandfather had when they originally opened their doors in 1927. In 2017, Schmidt said she made roughly 25,000 handmade chocolates, which didn’t include the loose candies, according to an article in 2017 with QNS. This quaint candy shop has been featured in New York Magazine, New York Times and AM New York.
Dip, Pour & Drizzle, a candy store in Flushing sells a wide variety of themed chocolate treats. With Super Bowl, Christmas, Valentine’s Day and even Disney’s Frozen themed candies, this shop can cater to a customer’s need for specialized orders and for special occasions. For personal baking, they also offer candy and chocolate making supplies for purchase.
Ridgewood Chocolate offers a variety of artisanal sweets for customers. The candy shop specializes in dark chocolate which they shell in-house. Their dark chocolate is predominately made with cocoa beans and sugarcane, priding themselves on their lack of artificial preservatives in the product. Ridgewood Chocolate strives to be “focused on a segment of the market that needs more choices.” This philosophy has led the shop to offer chocolate beverages such as their signature cold chocolate.
From traditional German candies to artisanal pure sweets, Queens has a variety of gift-giving options for all Valentine’s Day needs.
Editor’s note: The preceding is for informational purposes only; the locations were chosen at random by the author.