The temperatures in Arizona would melt a candy bar most days of the year, but that's not stopping Greater Phoenix's chocolatiers. Despite the heat that plagues this part of the country, Arizonans are most definitely not without a healthy dose of chocolate (even if it is a little melty).
In addition to the region's many candy stores and sweet shops, the Phoenix area is also home to several—that's right, several!—chocolate festivals. Never will your sugar craving go neglected here.
There are a number of chocolate-focused festivals in the Greater Phoenix area, including some that are held in February (and would make for a great Valentine's Day date).
- Glendale Chocolate Affaire: Glendale, about a 20-minute drive from downtown Phoenix, is home to the annual Glendale Chocolate Affaire, a free event that celebrates both candy and romance in a sort of festival setting. The event will be held on February 15, 2020, and will feature vendors, live entertainment, activities for all ages, and lots and lots of chocolate.
- Scottsdale Fine Art, Wine, and Chocolate Festival: Scottsdale's annual wine, chocolate, and art event will be held February 7 to 9, 2020, in the Waterfront District. Here, you can taste local vino, have a turn at the chocolate fountain, try your hand at wine glass etching, and more.
- Chiles and Chocolate Festival: This celebration of spicy chocolate is held at the Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix every November. It features chili and chocolate products from local vendors, unique Southwest gifts, cooking demonstrations, and entertainment. An admission fee to the garden is required.
If it's a quick stop at a chocolate shop you're interested in, then there are plenty of those as well. Some of them even make the sweets in front of you, which is a real hit for kids.
- Cerreta Candy Company: The Cerreta Candy Company is a four-generation, family-owned business that has a retail location in Glendale. There, you can take a free tour of Cerreta or indulge in a VIP tour with extra goodies, including a build-your-own chocolate pizza. The Arizona-themed chocolates in Western shapes make great souvenirs.
- Chocofin Chocolatier: Chocofin specializes in making small-batch craft chocolate from organically-grown cocoa beans. Louis and Denise Mirabella make it all from scratch in Fountain Hills, then supply local resorts with it. Visit their Fountain Hills shop for chocolate, coffee, and gelato.
- Zak's Chocolate: This artisan chocolatier has earned recognition from the International Chocolate Awards, the Good Food Awards, and more. Their Scottsdale factory doubles as a retail shop and there, you can see firsthand how the chocolate is made—from sorting and roasting the beans to wrapping the bars.
- Sweeties Candy of Arizona: Sweeties is a large family-owned store in Chandler dedicated to both new and classic candy. If you have a hankering for Mexican candy or a type you had as a child, this place probably has it.
- Fairytale Brownies: You can pick up Fairytale Brownies' festive tins and gift boxes at the Tempe Farmers Market. These chocolatiers use a secret family recipe to make their award-winning brownies from scratch using Callebaut dark Belgian chocolate. You can easily customize your order online.
- Fuzziwig's Candy Store: If your visit to Phoenix takes you to the Paradise Valley Mall, you can satisfy your sweet tooth with more than 400 varieties of candy and chocolate at Fuzziwig's, an international candy franchise. Other nearby locations include Arizona Mills in Tempe, Arrowhead Mall in Glendale, Chandler Fashion Center, and Superstition Springs in Mesa.
- Godiva Chocolates: Another familiar name that has outposts in the Phoenix area is Godiva, known for those decadent chocolate-covered strawberries. There are stores at Scottsdale Fashion Square and Chandler Fashion Center.
- Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory: This chain store has nine Phoenix-area locations if you count Glendale, Scottsdale, and Tempe. The kids will love watching the fudge be made.
- See's Candies: Get your sweetheart a box of something delicious from this nationally-recognized franchise with locations in Glendale, Peoria, Mesa, East Mesa, Chandler, Phoenix, Paradise Valley, and Scottsdale (mostly in malls). See's Candies also has locations at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport.