Valentine's Day is right around the corner. I don't know about you, but the holiday is definitely going to be low key for us this year. That being said, even if we don't go out to dinner or exchange fancy gifts...your girl still LOVES getting chocolate. Yes, that applies to every day of the year but that's besides the point.

Instead of snagging that same ol' generic box of chocolates that you can find anywhere, why not treat your sweetie to sweets made right here in southwest Michigan? Here are 5 local spots to check out for some delicious chocolates and candies.

1. Rocket Fizz

If you're looking for a wide variety Rocket Fizz is where you need to go. Whether your love prefers sour candies, chocolates, or a unique kind of soda - you'll find it here. They even have options for vegans! They're located in downtown Kalamazoo but if you'd like to browse their selection before you visit you can find them on Facebook.

2. Confections with Convictions 

What sets Confections with Convictions apart is the fact that their chocolate is hand crafted with Fair Trade Organic Chocolate and made with original recipes by chocolatier Dale Anderson. They focus on local sourcing and have vegan or gluten free options available. It's a tiny shop so if you have something in mind that you have to have I would call ahead to secure your order. Especially with Valentine's Day on the way. They're off Crosstown Parkway in Kalamazoo but you can also find them on Facebook.

3. Chocolatea

Tea may be in the name but that's far from the only thing Chocolatea offers. Located in Portage, Chocolatea serves sandwiches, cakes, pies, hot chocolate, lattes, and, of course, chocolate! As well, they have seasonal, featured drinks. Amongst the ones for February is a Red Velvet Hot Chocolate which sounds amazing. They offer to-go orders, curbside pickup, and have re-opened with a limited capacity of 25%. Check out everything else they have to offer on their Facebook page.

4. Cherri's Chocol'art

Along with Rocket Fizz, Cherri's Chcol'art is located in downtown Kalamazoo. Cherri, who was a fine arts gallery owner for three decades, has definitely mastered combining art and chocolate. Whether your love's favorites are truffles, turtles or salted caramels, you'll find it here! Find more on their Facebook page.

5. Heilman's Nuts & Confections

Heilman's has been in Kalamazoo for about 33 years meaning...they know what they're doing. They offer a variety of gourmet nuts, roasted on site and in cholesterol free corn oil. But, Heilman's also offers chocolates made fresh and seasonal treats like caramel apples, flavored popcorn, and more. They also ship! Find more details on their Facebook page.

Nothing cheers me up faster than being surprised with chocolates. Dark chocolate turtles to be precise. It's a simple gesture that tells me, "Hey. I was thinking about you". So, if your love is a lover of sweets, check these places out and let's support our local businesses!

Side note: If anyone needs me to personally try the treats from each of the places listed above I would be happy to carry that burden for you. You know...for science. Or something. 😂

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