Leonardtown, MD – Chocolate – the creamy, delicious, melt-in-your-mouth sweet that never goes out of style. This classic treat can be found most anywhere you go, but why buy any old candy bar when you can buy local, freshly made chocolate?

Heritage Chocolates can help you with that.

Chris Neely and his wife Terra, owners of Heritage Chocolates, have always had a place in their lives when it comes to the sweet. “We  love the idea of chocolate,” stated Chris. “My wife and I were married on the sweetest day. We had chocolate favors at our wedding that her parents made. We’re both entrepreneurs, we both have business degrees and we’re in love with the concept of doing something that’s fun that people enjoy.”

Heritage Chocolates opened this past September on the square in Leonardtown and has been enticing Southern Maryland ever since. Customers walk into the spacious shop and are surrounded by tantalizing sights and smells. Glass displays, tables and shelves full of packaged sweets, a smiling staff of Chocolatiers and the scent of chocolate are all a rather welcome sensory overload. Guests can even see the process from start to finish.

“The whole idea of the business was yes, we want to make chocolates, but it’s also supposed to be fun and we want our customers to enjoy it,” Chris explains. “We want you to be able to see our kitchen.”

The enrobing room and full kitchen are visible just across the countertops where you can watch the chocolatiers conjure up sweets. It’s not uncommon to see trays of freshly made chocolates being tucked neatly into their cases throughout the day.

Currently, the display shelves and tables of packaged goods are decked out in red and pink in preparation for the upcoming holiday.

“We’re definitely geared up for Valentine’s Day,” Chris remarked. “We have a spiced chocolate bar called our Burning Love Bar, which is dark chocolate with sriracha and cayenne pepper. You have a smoky, savory taste in the beginning mixed with the rich sweetness and it finishes with some heat. We also did a little play on Christina Perri’s song ‘Jar of Hearts’ so we have jars of red raspberry dark chocolate hearts.”

Looking for something classic? “We have our Valentine’s Day Nonpareils, which are just pink and white nonpareils in dark chocolate, and we did heart-themed transfer sheets on our Hazelnut Meltaways and our Peanut Butter Meltaways.”

As for the customers who like a little kick with their dessert, Neely stated, “We have our Valentine’s Day whiskey and alcohol infused ganache truffles.”

Experiencing any cravings yet? Consider chocolates this Valentine’s Day and treat yourself or someone you love. After all, the way to a person’s heart may very well be through their stomach.

Contact Barbara Muller at b.muller@thebaynet.com