Did you blow it? Forget it’s Valentine’s Day in two days?
You’ve got roughly 48 hours to find a token of your affection for your sweetie.
If you’re just now realizing that you should’ve made dinner reservations, good luck with that. You’ll be disappointed, unless you like to eat dinner at 4:30 or 11 p.m.
Instead, how about the time-honored tradition of giving chocolate?
And I’m not talking about a prefab box of commercial chocolates from your local grocery store.
I’m talking handmade chocolate. For just a few bucks, you can buy your sweetheart hand-dipped truffles, chocolate coated salted caramels or deeply delicious fudge.
And they’re all made in and around Tacoma.
JOHNSON CANDY CO.
Where: 924 Martin Luther King Jr. Way, Tacoma; 253-272-8504.
Hours: Regular hours are 9:30-5:30 Mondays-Fridays and 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturdays. For Valentine’s Day weekend, extended hours will be 9:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday.
Since 1949, the Johnson family has been hand making chocolates at its Hilltop store (and at its ice cream shop on K Street for nearly a quarter century before that).
The display counter brims with chocolate truffles, chocolate-coated caramels dusted with sea salt, nut clusters, creams, chews, pecan turtles and dozens of other chocolate confections.
At the back of the store, find heart-shaped boxes (around $8-$18) decked in lush velvet, sparkly gold, silky floral patterns or pretty polka dots. Fill those boxes with Johnson chocolates, available for separate purchase. There’s also a good selection of pre-filled boxes with assorted truffles, nuts, chews and creams. Filled boxes are priced from $6.95-$47.95.
Gift-wrapped and filled heart-shaped boxes are near the front of the store, ranging from $7.15-$21.50. You can also skip the box and buy chocolates by the pound, around $15-$17 a pound. An assortment of sugar-free candy is available, too.
Where: 3303 Jahn Ave. NW, Gig Harbor; 253-313-5804; facebook.com/TropsChocolates.
Hours: 7 a.m.-6 p.m. Mondays-Saturdays. This week only, the store will be open 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday for Valentine’s Day.
This Gig Harbor chocolate company opened in July, but the Trop family first operated a wholesale chocolate company specializing in chocolate syrups and chocolate-covered graham crackers.
Find the gamut of truffles and chocolate-coated creams, chews and caramels.
For Valentine’s Day, the store is offering edible heart-shaped boxes, in several sizes, made of chocolate and filled with an assortment of chocolates. Find a four-piece box in the shape of a double heart ($23), a five-piece box with scalloped edges ($25), and a nine-piece box ($37) ringed in hearts. There’s also a 20-piece box for $55.
Or a box decorated with chocolate colored satin can be filled (12 pieces for $30, 24 for $50 and 32 for $65).
Solid heart-shaped chocolates, in dark or milk chocolate and wrapped in colorful foil, are available for $4 each.
Where: 610 N. First St., Tacoma; 253-327-1860 or teasechocolates.com.
Hours: 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Wednesdays-Fridays, noon-5 p.m. Saturdays.
Tease Chocolates opened its Tacoma store in the summer of 2015 in a small space next door to Stadium Thriftway. Julie and Topher Farrell specialize in bean-to-bar, meaning they craft some of their chocolate straight from beans.
They sell chocolate bars, but also truffles, toffee and caramels. Find an ever-changing case filled with fanciful flavors, such as champagne-filled truffles, vanilla milkshake truffles or Thai curry peanut butter. Truffles are $2.50, or $2 each for six or more. Bars are $5-$6, bags of toffee are $6-$10, and caramels are $1 each or a half dozen for $5.
BROWN AND HALEY FACTORY STORE
Where: 110 E. 26th St., Tacoma; 253-620-3067; brown-haley.com.
Hours: 9:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Mondays-Saturdays, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Sundays.
Head to the Dome District candy-maker known for its Almond Roca and visit the manufacturer’s retail store, located inside a quirky building. There, you’ll find all kinds of the chocolate-and-nut covered toffee crunch candy, as well as the candy company’s Mountain bars.
A recent trip found heart-shaped tins filled with Roca, priced 99 cents for a tiny tin to an 18-piece tin for $9.99. Find more tins and boxes from $1.99-$7.99 and up. Find bags of sugar-free Roca for $3.49. There’s also an outlet store in Fife, 3500 20th St., 253-620-3030.
Where: 602 Fawcett Ave., Tacoma; 253-627-5070; corinabakery.com.
Hours: 7:30 a.m.-7 p.m. Mondays-Fridays, 8 a.m.-7 p.m. Saturdays, 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Sundays.
This Tacoma bakery is known for its selection of cake (whole or by the slice) and its handmade pastries, but it also features a few truffles in its bakery cases, along with petit fours and dipped cake balls. A recent trip found a choice of coconut or praline truffles, $2.50 each. Owner Molly Ott said the bakery would also have chocolate-dipped strawberries and heart-shaped shortbread cookies this week.
OLD CANNERY FURNITURE
Where: 13608 Valley Ave E., Sumner; 253-863-0422; oldcanneryfurniture.com.
Hours: 9 a.m.-8 p.m. Mondays-Fridays, 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturdays-Sundays.
Nestled midway into the expansive furniture store, find something unexpected — a fudge counter with about 25 kinds of fudge made on-site by candy-maker Linda White. Find all kinds of chocolate fudges, from rocky road to dark salted caramel, milk chocolate walnut, peanut butter chocolate and pistachio chocolate. There’s also raspberry swirl, caramel coffee with a chocolate drizzle, maple nut and others.
Samples are free, and fudge is cut to order, with no minimum purchase, for $14.98 a pound. Gift-wrapped boxes are available for an additional charge.
Where: 5602 Sixth Ave., Tacoma; 253-756-0902; tacomaboys.com.
Hours: Open 24 hours daily.
At the entrance of the Tacoma Boys store on Sixth Avenue, find plastic boxes filled with fudge made by the grocery store. It’s priced as marked and cut into half-pound or larger slabs ($13.99 a pound) in flavors such as chocolate walnut, milk chocolate, blueberry cheesecake, peppermint bark, English toffee and even sucrose-free fudge. Fudge also available at the Puyallup store, 901 39th Ave. SW, 253-864-8568.