Valentine’s Day is coming. And whether you’re celebrating love, friendship, family or even yourself, nothing says it better than a little something sweet. This is not the time to pick up a generic box of chocolates from the convenience store; not when Grand Rapids is overflowing with candy shops that cater to every taste imaginable. Find that special treat, with recommendations from these area shops.
Chocolates by Grimaldi
219 N 7th St, Grand Haven
This lakeshore chocolatier makes all of their confections in-house, with a focus on using local and Michigan-made ingredients. They offer velvet, heart-shaped boxes for your Valentine that they’ll fill with your half-pound, hand-picked selection. Or, take the guesswork out with a pre-packaged heart or rose-embellished box. And their chocolate-covered strawberries are always a gift-giving hit.
Cosmic Candy Company
3700 Rivertown Pkwy, Grandville
Step into a Cosmic Candy Company store and you’ll be met with an explosion of sweets from retro finds to newfangled creations. There literally — and that word is not used lightly — is candy from wall to wall and every space in-between. They make pre-made gift baskets, but recommend building your own for a personalized touch. For Valentine’s Day, there are two custom options to fill with popcorn and candy to suit small or larger budgets.
Dr. John’s Healthy Sweets
5320 West River Drive NE, Comstock Park
Looking for something sweet without the sugar? Dr. John’s has you covered. Ideal for those cutting out sweets or with sugar-restricted diets, the doctor’s offerings are naturally sugar-free with no artificial colors or flavors. Their Assorted Candy Gift Box, filled with hard candies, lollipops, a chocolate box, a pecan caramel bar, caramels, and mints is a best seller for Valentine’s Day and all year round. Order online and pick up at their corporate office.
2226 Wealthy St. SE, East Grand Rapids
146 Monroe Center, Grand Rapids
Petoskey-based with two Grand Rapids locations, Kilwin’s is known for its high-end chocolates. Though pre-filled and custom boxes in a traditional heart shape are the standby, their chocolate-covered strawberries are a delicious and decadent treat for gift giving. For the freshest taste and presentation, they should be ordered 24 hours ahead and presented promptly.
1971 E. Beltline Ave. NE Ste 101, Grand Rapids
2577 Burlingame Ave. SW, Wyoming
A Grand Rapids institution since 1910, Koeze may be known for its cashews, but its candy business is just as booming — and most of their chocolate specialties are made right in house. Pick up a curated gift bag or put together your own. Beyond chocolate and nut concoctions, they also have a large selection of bulk candy to add to the mix. Their pick for your sweetheart? The Milk Chocolate Caramel Pecan Clusters, an eternal Valentine’s favorite.
Love’s Ice Cream and Confectionary
435 Ionia Ave. SW, Grand Rapids
There’s more to Love’s than ice cream and gelato. Their space in the Downtown Market has handcrafted chocolates, thoughtfully made with intentionally sourced ingredients. For Valentine’s Day or any special gift, choose their bonbons filled with luscious caramel, ganache, praline, or pâté de fruit in gift boxes sized for two, four, nine or 18. Top it off with an assortment of gourmet candy bars to “show your sweetie some true Love’s.”
15 Ionia Ave SW, Grand Rapids
Mosby’s, a new transplant to downtown Grand Rapids, is a gourmet popcorn shop offering 60-plus flavors, all made onsite. Fill a heart-emblazoned box with your choice of candy-coated popcorn in an assortment of reds, from cherry to cinnamon, or a blend of savory and sweet. If you can’t decide, they have grab-and-go boxes made too, and also range of loose candy, including old-school faves.
2090 Celebration Dr., NE, #122nd, Grand Rapids
Part candy, part soda pop shop, Rocket Fizz puts a sparkling spin on the classic gift box with ready-made sets in fun, sour, nostalgia, Rocket Fizz signatures, and even gag gift themes. To truly make it personal, they suggest creating a custom basket with two sodas and candies of your choice. With an out-of-this-world stock of sodas and bins upon bins of packaged and bulk candy, it’s easy to make a one-of-a-kind gift.
5170 Plainfield Ave. NE, Grand Rapids
9 North Main St., Rockford
Another turn-of-last-century Grand Rapids anchor is fourth-generation confectioner Sweetland Candies. When Valentine’s Day approaches, gift-givers opt for Sweetland’s truffles, with raspberry being the most sought after flavor. With the notion that “it’s what’s inside that matters,” they offer a minimalist box with a see-through top, made locally in Holland. If raspberry or chocolate or truffles aren’t your thing, they also have cases and boxes of other sweets to choose from.