It sounds straight out of a storybook: An enchanting little chocolate shop tucked away all by itself along a bend in the road in the middle of paradise.
But it's not a fairy tale; it's the reality for Grocer's Daughter Chocolate, a boutique chocolatier whose headquarters are in Empire, Mich., surrounded by Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore.
But it's not just Grocer's Daughter Chocolate's location that sets it apart. The company is also dedicated to being a direct-trade, locally minded chocolatier -- working one-on-one with cacao farmers in Ecuador and Venezuela to obtain the highest-quality chocolate, and sourcing other ingredients from local Michigan farms, dairies, distilleries, and other independently owned businesses.
"We've done everything we can to make it more local and more direct," says Jody Dotson Hayden, who co-owns Grocer's Daughter with her husband, DC Hayden. "So much of it is about relationships. I really want to be able to know who we're working with."
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by Emily Bingham