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What we hope for, more than anything else here at LCC, is that our chocolates inspire happiness in people.   So we were thrilled when we heard about University of Vermont medical student Ross Sayadi.  Here is his story:

Looking back on my first year at the University of Vermont Medical School, I clearly remember an interesting piece of wisdom that one teaching assistant shared with my class on the first day of our human anatomy class: “whether you choose to complete medical school or enlist in the military, your journey will be very similar.” 

And, surely, my classmates and I soon realized exactly what he meant as the year progressed. 

Bombarded by a sea of medical terminology, hours of back-to-back lectures, countless patient visits, and exams, many of us struggled to find the energy and willpower to push forward in this “mental marathon.” On one particularly harsh winter evening, I remember walking along a long hallway in our medical school building and seeing a few of my friends in the library cramming information into their brains prior to our final exam. As I stood there wondering what I could do to brighten their day and hopefully give them a surge of energy, a decent idea hit me. That day I had packed walnuts, chocolate and raisins- my “pre-exam concoction”-an old energy-boosting recipe I learned from my mom, and I decided to share it with them. Within a few seconds, I was pleased to see large smiles spread across their faces that energized the library on that dark and gloomy winter day. 

As my stock of nuts and chocolate ran out, I eventually began looking for readily accessible alternatives. Coincidentally, the coffee cart near the entrance of our medical school always has a container full of delicious Lake Champlain Chocolates, so I made it a habit to grab two or three of them along with my coffee each morning and hand them out to my classmates in the library. The UVM tradition of handing out small Lake Champlain Chocolates had begun. 

Unexpectedly, almost every time I handed a piece of chocolate to one of my classmates they would return the favor by giving me a piece of LC chocolate later on, leaving me with a heap of assorted LC chocolates on my table each day. As winter progressed, so did this beloved tradition as more and more people picked up the habit. Eventually, my classmates began to use the phrase “getting Rossed” to refer to the act of receiving an LC chocolate. 

Brian Till, one of my closest friends and a frequent “Rosser”, said that for him, “showing others you are thinking about them through a simple LC chocolate loosens up the edge of medical school and allows us to succeed as a group.” All in all, I am really fortunate to be apart of the UVM Medical School Class of 2017, and a program that emphasizes teamwork, symbolized by our lighthearted exchange of Lake Champlain Chocolates.


 

 


Gary Coffey and Eric Lampman, our official beer and chocolate experts, once again entertained and wowed the crowd at this year’s Vermont Brewer’s Festival.   We have kind of a thing for craft beer here in Vermont so the idea of pairing chocolate with beer gets us pretty excited.   And luckily there are breweries popping up all over the state, giving us a wealth of local beers to try.

Without further ado, here are the pairings we featured at this year’s festival:

Stone Corral Latigo & Orange Peels
Stone Corral is a craft nano- brewery in the small town of Huntington, Vermont located on a horse farm in the shadow of Camel’s Hump.  We choose their Latigo, a malt forward beer with a hint of fruitiness and a clean, bright finish to pair with our Orange Peels, a candied orange peel dipped twice in our 54% dark chocolate.

Queen City Brewery Landlady & Honey Caramel
Next up was our neighbors (their brewery is right across the street from our chocolate factory!) at Queen City Brewery.  Landlady, a Yorkshire-style ESB with a smooth mouth feel and malty but balanced flavor paired nicely with our Honey Caramel, a 54% dark chocolate with caramel infused with local Vermont honey.

Zero Gravity Paul & Oates & Blue Bandana Guatemala 70%
We almost always find a pairing from our good friends at Zero Gravity, the resident brewery at American Flatbread in Burlington.  This year we chose Paul & Oates, an organic Saison with organic pale malt, raw wheat and golden naked oates, featuring East Kent Goldings and Pacific Jade hops, to pair with Blue Bandana Chocolate Maker’s 70% Guatemala, a strong, rich dark chocolate with notes of raisins and tropical fruit.

Harpoon Brewery Chocolate Cherry Porter and Raspberry Truffle Bar
Brewed in Windsor, Vermont, Harpoon’s hearty, malt-based Chocolate Cherry Porter complemented by sweet cherry juice and cocoa nibs made for a perfect pairing with our Raspberry Truffle Bar, a ripe luscious raspberry ganache enveloped in a rich, dark chocolate.


 

 


We’re going to let you in on a secret.  Why are our handmade truffles so creamy, decadent and downright delicious?  

It’s the butter
.  

OK, it’s also the irresistible chocolate we use, but the European-style cultured butter from our good friends at Vermont Creamery really sends them over the top.

What is European-style cultured butter?  It sounds fancy, but really it’s quite simple. Vermont Creamery uses the freshest, high quality cream from the local St. Albans Cooperative, a coop of 500 family farms in Northern Vermont.  The cream is naturally cultured before it’s churned in small batches to become a rich, European-style butter with 86% butterfat content and a unique farm-fresh taste.

The silky-smooth butter is responsible for the creamy texture of our truffles, and its slightly nutty flavor is the perfect balance for the sweet chocolate. (It's also heavenly when spread on a fresh baguette.)

Vermont Creamery is like family to us.  LCC and Vermont Creamery both got their start in the early 80s and have grown to have a reputation far beyond the borders of Vermont; yet both companies still operate in the same place where they started over 30 years ago and are committed more than ever to supporting local farmers and producers to bring you the best products possible.  The fact that this exceptional butter is made just a few miles down the road from us is nothing short of amazing!

Having partners like Vermont Creamery is just one of many reasons why we love making chocolate in Vermont.



Our namesake: Lake Champlain.

Posted on July 8, 2014 10:44 AM by Meghan

We like to talk about Vermont and why we love living here.  And Lake Champlain is a big part of what makes this place so special —which is why over 30 years ago Jim Lampman decided to make this great lake the namesake of his growing chocolate company.

So what is it about Lake Champlain?  While technically not a “great” lake, it’s pretty darn big: 125 miles long, 14 miles wide and 400 feet deep in some places.  It’s also home to Champ, our very own lake monster- first spotted in 1609 by Samuel de Champlain,  he still gets quite a bit of attention- we even have a t-shirt in our stores that says “Champ ate all the chocolate!”

The lake runs between Vermont and New York and much of the shoreline on both sides is undeveloped, making the lake look almost the same as it did when it was first discovered over 400 years ago.

In the end, just looking out our window is what inspires us each day.  Don’t you agree?


Retailer Spotlight: Plum Market

Posted on June 19, 2014 9:50 AM by Meghan

One of the most common questions we get here at LCC, either on the phone or when people visit us for a chocolate factory tour is “can I find Lake Champlain Chocolates near where I live?” and luckily the answer is usually YES!  There are over 1500 stores across the country that carry at least some of our delicious, gourmet chocolate.  

This month we’re featuring Plum Market with stores in Chicago, Ann Arbor, Bloomfield and West Bloomfield.   With three generations of retailing in their blood, the Jonna brothers opened Plum Market in 2007 to “create a grocery experience like no other.” Trust us, this is not your neighborhood supermarket; it is much, much more.  Plum Market carries the very best in organic, specialty and local products, including all of our chocolate bars, plus some favorites like our sea salt caramels and coin gift bags.  

The Jonna brothers want nothing less than "to revolutionize the way your family shops for food.”  And to that we say, bring it on!


 


Yogurt and Honey Cocoa Pod

Posted on June 3, 2014 10:55 AM by Meghan

Yogurt and honey are a natural pairing, but seldom seen in chocolate.  For this month’s cocoa pod creative, we’ve blended yogurt and honey with a white chocolate ganache and surrounded it with a 54% dark chocolate. Notes of tangy yogurt and a subtle peak of honey are accented by the brown spice of the dark chocolate- a taste experience that is both original and delicious!

They are only available for the month of  June in our Pine Street store, stop in today and give it a try!



Taste the Soul of Latin American Jazz!

Posted on May 27, 2014 11:51 AM by Meghan

It’s the moment we’ve all been waiting for- this year’s Burlington Discover Jazz Bar, ¡Cocoa Con Brío!, is now for sale!   

Meaning literally, ‘chocolate with spirit,’ ¡Cocoa Con Brío!, is inspired by Latin American jazz and takes a cue from the traditional dish, molé.  Beginning with a note of tropical lime, each taste reveals a blend of cinnamon, spices and a trio of chilies that hits the palate as a warming back note (hot, but not too hot!), while raisins and pepitas add a bit of sweet, chewy satisfaction.  The bar finishes with vibrant flavor and lingering lime.

We’re proud to be in our 17th year of sponsoring the Burlington Discover Jazz Festival, and this year we are excited to dedicate this bar to our community.  The proceeds of each ¡Cocoa Con Brío! bar will support the Artist-in-Residency program

This program invites a celebrated jazz musician to explore their practice within the Burlington community, conducting performance workshops and spreading the importance of jazz history to schools and social service agencies. The program emphasizes the importance of meaningful and multi-layered cultural exchange and immersion into another culture. This year, famed New Orleans saxophonist Donald Harrison will continue the Artist in Residency tradition, which is now in its second year.

Only available until June 8, make sure to pick one up at one of our three retail stores, at the South End Kitchen, online or at the Flynn lobby during the festival.  And let us know what you think!  #cocoaconbrio

 

 


It’s Time to Party!

Posted on May 20, 2014 10:52 AM by Meghan

Party season is upon us.  Graduations, showers, weddings, barbeques— we can finally be outside without hats and mittens and this alone is something to celebrate (at least for us in Vermont.)

And no celebration is complete without some Lake Champlain Chocolates.  How about a chocolate buffet?  Let guests mix and match to create their own chocolate assortment- from gourmet truffles and chocolate hearts to honey caramel and dark mint, - everyone will find a favorite and have fun doing it!

Looking for other fun party ideas?  Check out our recently updated Pinterest Board “You’re Invited” for lots of inspiration!   This is one of our favorites- 


Happy Celebrating!!


Our friend Jamie Wynne Kales outdoes herself again with an amazing arrangement of flowers and chocolate for Mother's Day!  Read below to learn more about her inspiration.

Jamie Wynne Kales of Jamie Wynne Floral brings her exclusive bespoke floral design to the table!  Want a bright idea?  Tell your mom she's the light of your life with sweet gratitude from Lake Champlain chocolates!  Flowers and chocolate are the perfect partnership to mark life's great moments; what better way to tell her how special she is to you than to enrich her day with a selection of Vermont's finest handcrafted chocolates...smooth truffles that are blissfully delicious or an adorable fashion statement of a floral tote.  What are Mom's favorite colors?  Choose chocolates wrapped in colored packaging from floral print, to light blue to brightly-foiled individual bags of delicious morsels...create a chocolate story for Mom!  Life's filled with stories, right?

Here, San Diego floral designer and featured designer for the San Diego Museum of Art's "Art Alive", Jamie Wynne, known for her intricately-threaded textures and mindfully orchestrated color palettes, creates a floral inspiration based on Lake Champlain's gorgeous packaging.  Always image-saavy and leaving no nuance unnoticed, she creates the caption of "Want a bright idea..." by integrating a tad of industrial chic to the blend.  Lightbulbs!  The arrangement itself houses 14 highly unique floral varieties from English David Austen garden roses to Italian heather.  As Jamie Wynne would say herself..."It's ALL in the details!"  And, of course, what was the starting point for such inspiration?  Chocolate of course!  Seize the chance to get creative this year...celebrate Mom this year with a sweetness she'll never forget!

Flowers and chocolate in a single pairing...or, can't choose?  Get them all!  Create a medley of many chocolate varieties in different packaging to really pop! Create the ultimate chocolate arrangement! 


Mom deserves the best!

Posted on May 5, 2014 3:43 PM by Meghan

Give your mom as gift as sweet as she is- luxurious, gourmet chocolates!  
Mother’s Day is Sunday, May 11 so stop by one of our three retail stores and we’d be happy to help you select the perfect gift for Mom. We have clusters, caramels, truffles, orange peels, gift baskets— everything to give mom the sweet recognition she deserves.

LCC Retail Stores

750 Pine Street
Burlington, VT
Monday-Saturday 9-6pm
Sunday 12-5pm
802-864-1807

65 Church Street
Burlington, VT
Monday-Thursday 10-8pm
Friday-Saturday 10-9pm
Sunday 11-7pm
802-862-5185

Route 100 – Cabot Annex
Waterbury, VT
Monday-Sunday 9-6pm
802-241-4150