Fine Belgian Chocolate Made The Right Way At Lake Champlain Chocolates

Publish Notes: 

Taste Of New England Keene, NH 2004

Fine Belgian Chocolate Made The Right Way At Lake Champlain Chocolates
Fine Belgian Chocolate Made The Right Way At Lake Champlain Chocolates

BURLINGTON, VT. - Chocolate lovers beware...Lake Champlain Chocolates, a Burlington, Vermont-based company that specializes in creating gourmet Belguim chocolate, will have you hooked with one taste! The company was established by Jim Lampman, former owner of the successful Ice House Restaurant in Burlington.

Photos courtesy of Lake Champlain Chocolates

After one day recieving a negative review for the "boxed chocolates" they had been serving at the restaurant, Lampman recalls challenging his pastry chef to 'come up with something better.' The result was homemade, hand rolled chocolate truffles that he thought were 'the best I had ever tasted'.

The Ice House began serving the fine Belgian chocolate on Sundays, with the response being so overwhelming that Lampman would eventually start his own upscale chocolate-making company in 1983 to keep up with the growing
demand for the truffle delights. Although originally intended for wholesale distribution only, the constant demand of individual and retail sales became too great, and Jim eventually sold the restaurant in order to devote all his energies to the chocolate business full time.

Their recipes are crafted in small batches to ensure top quality and freshness, and are both preservative-free and Kosher certified. Not using artificial flavors or preservatives is significant in creating a superior product that is a cut above most imported gourmet brands such as Godiva. The all natural ingredients create a much cleaner taste and texture, with no trace of artificial aftertaste. Also at $22 a pound, it is a superior value for such a fine gourmet chocolate.

After the perfection of the truffle, Lake Champlain Chocolates then created a classic "Chocolates Of Vermont" signature collection, capturing the pure essence of tradition and the best quality all natural ingredients the state has to offer
including fresh Vermont Cream, sweet butter, pure maple syrup, honey, and nuts. "Today's chocolate customers expect more - not ony do they want more dark chocolates, they want to know the cocoa content and where the beans came from," Lampman said in a recent interview.

This fine collection of chocolates includes the "Honey Caramel" with a honey caramel center surrounded by dark chocolate, the "Greeen Mountain" is milk chocolate filled with roasted almonds and dried fruit, the "Maple Crunch" consists of dark chocolate with a maple syrup and butternut crunch filling and the "Evergreen Mint", a chocolate with a crisp pepperment crunch. Today the "Chocolates Of Vermont" collection remains one of their more popular creations.

In 1998 Lake Champlain Chocolates expanded and moved to a larger 24,000 square foot building, and now have expanded their product line to include hot chocolate, Signature and Five Star Bars, a corporate gift program, and an online store and web site. They also recently introduced Small World Chocolates, Truffles, and Sensations, which focuses on select-origin, high-cocoa-content chocolates and exotic flavors from around the world.

The distinct Small World Truffle flavors include Mango, Mol'e (cayenne and lime),Chai(cinnamon and cardamom),Pistachio, and Lemon-Ginger. While the Sensations are sachet-wrapped chocolate confections in cherry and 3-nut flavors. These chocolate delights combine fruity South American dark chocolate with sour North American cherry ganache.

The Lake Champlain Chocolate also offers a corporate gift program servicing clients with quality gift packages featuring classic, natural presentation boxes, with company logos and personal messages available. Another recent
product line includes the choice "Tower Of Treasures", with three elegently presented boxes of chocolate making up this "chocolate tower".

Holiday colors and winter patterns decorate boxes that are designed to look like mineature New England homes, all tied together with a bright red ribbon. The Chocolate Tower is made up of the Choicolates Of Vermont series, Pecan Caramel Clusters and Raspberry Creams. "The gift assortments are consistantly our most popular products, said Allyson Brown, director of sales at Lake Champlain Chocolates. "The 'Tower Of Treasures' are perfect to share in the office or home, and each box is a nice keepsake as well."

Other hyoliday gift ideas include the Simon Pearce Dessert Bowl filled with gourmet chocolates, the Grand Holiday Basket with ten gifts featuring over 150 select pieces of confection and the Basket Of Holiday Cheer. Also available is
the Signature Gift Basket, and the Vermont Country Gift, a keepsake tin and copper bucket reminiscent of maple sugaring and filled with 'tastes of the North Country.'

Lake Champlain Chocolates is now celebrating thier 20th anniversary of making fine chocolate and continue to create high quality products just like they have from the very beginning, using only all natural ingredients and old fashioned methods...Vermont style! To learn more about the many products and services Lake Champlain has to offer you can contact them at 800-465-5909 (Monday through Friday 8:30 to 5:00) or visit them online at