Spotlight on Dean's Sweets
Words and Photos By Nora Ibrahim

This week’s adventure is a breathtaking, behind-the-scenes visit to Dean’s Sweets . This upscale chocolatier is located at 475 Fore Street, between Baristas + Bites and Pure Barre . Upon walking into Dean's Sweets, guests will be greeted by the delectable aroma of (you guessed it) chocolate!

We were given a tour of the lovely storefront, followed by the packaging & shipping station, storage area, and most importantly: the kitchen. As we explored the space, Kristin, the manager (and Dean’s wife) stated that they ship about 500 branded chocolate coins to the Press Hotel every week.

We learned that Dean's chocolate-making began at home in 2004, then transferred to a small shop on Middle Street in 2008. They made the final move to Fore Street in 2014. As Kristin was informing me of these details, we heard Dean exclaim “uh-oh!” from the kitchen. He quickly reassured us with a simple (and delicious) solution: “eat the mistake.”
In the small and well-organized kitchen, there were two chocolate tempering machines (one for dark chocolate and the other for milk), a caramel maker, and a small machine in the back exlusively for white chocolate. Watching the machines spin the molten candy was very soothing due to the consistent texture and deep, uniform color. Dean frequently checks the temperature of the chocolates using a laser thermometer – a process that ensures the chocolates stay in proper form as they solidify.
We were entranced as Dean made what he calls a “translation of S’mores.” He dipped his handmade marshmallow cubes into melted dark chocolate, perfectly coating each mouth-watering morsel. Dean pointed out that good chocolate dries at room temperature fairly fast. We also learned that Dean's Sweets is a nut-free facility.
Later, Dean introduced us to one of his experiments: blue cheese and buttercream chocolates. He informed us that people’s reaction to this new flavor is mostly confusion. We were hesitant to sample this most unusual concoction, but were pleasantly surprised by its subtle and balanced taste – at once satisfying and challenging to the palette.
Our heartfelt thanks to Kristin and Dean for being such gracious hosts! To learn more about Dean's Sweets, please click here – or visit the shop next time you're downtown!