Mary Ellen Geist's Chicago Sweet Homegrown

Rich Chocolates: Buying Chocolate as Local as You Can Get for the Holidays


Lots of people are getting on the “BUYING LOCAL” bandwagon this holiday season. But when it comes to chocolate, how local can you get? You might be surprised.

Meet Lauren Pett. She runs the company called “Rich Chocolate and Candies” from a kitchen in Chicago.  She uses local ingredients as much possible, like Bron’s Bee’s  honey from a nearby farm, and milk and cream from Kilgus farmstead in Central Illinois.  She uses local liquors, herbs and fruits, too. No local cocoa is available, of course, but almost everything else she uses to make her popular chocolates is from Chicago or the Midwest.

 Pett says her company was inspired by the city of Chicago. Pett says,  “I wanted to do something to honor the city of  Chicago. I came up with The Windy City Collection, which I like to say is my love letter to Chicago.” Each piece of candy in this special collection is created with a specific Chicago neighborhood in mind. She’s getting lots of orders for this collection this holiday season.

 Pett says buying local makes a huge difference.  “Our economy is struggling like anybody else’s. I think it’s so important to keep that money local. “ Rich Chocolates can be found in quite a few Chicago shops. Pett ships from her website, too.  For more info, go to


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