Frequently Asked Questions
- Do you offer quantity discounts?
- I want to ship to an address in the United States, but I live in another country. Can I still order?
- Do you make custom gift baskets and chocolates?
- Do you ship chocolate outside of the United States?
- Do you offer gift cards?
- Where can I find [ ______ ] near me?
- What kind of chocolate do you use?
- How long will my chocolate last?
- How can I tell if my chocolate is past its date of optimal freshness?
- Do your chocolates have allergens in them such as soy, nuts, dairy, and gluten?
- Do your chocolates contain hydrogenated oils?
- What is the percent of cocoa in your chocolates?
- Are any of your chocolates kosher? Are they pareve?
- Are any of your products vegan?
- Do you have sugar free chocolates?
- Does your chocolate have caffeine?
- Is your chocolate alkalized?
- What is your position on transparency?
- What steps is LCC taking toward full transparency and ethical sourcing?
- What is LCC’s role in the supply chain?
- Is the chocolate you purchase fair trade?
- Are your finished chocolates fair trade certified?
- Are Lake Champlain Chocolates organic?
- How are you addressing GMOs?
- Do you use refined sugar?
- Do you test for lead and cadmium?
Yes, when you order $500.00 or more. The discounts are as follows:
- $500 to $1,000 . . . . . . . .5% total discount
- $1,000 to $2,500 . . . . . .10% total discount
- $2,500 or more . . . . . . .15% total discount
Absolutely! Place you order online, or call our Customer Service Center at 1-800-465-5909 and we will be happy to help you!
For large volume orders, we can tie a customer-supplied ribbon or sticker, or include a customer-supplied item within one of our baskets. Lead time runs 3-6 weeks from time of approval. Contact our corporate sales department at email@example.com for more information.
We limit our shipments to the 50 United States. Our experiences with international gift taxes and customs delays as well as refused and returned packages have forced us to institute this policy. Chocolate can also melt in transit, and this is more likely when shipped outside the United States.
We do not offer gift cards at this time. If you’re stumped for what to give your recipient, try one of our best-selling Chocolate Selections. They offer something to please everyone — truffles, Chocolates of Vermont, peanut butter chocolates, and more.
Have a question about ordering that you don't see here? Submit your question to us using our General Request form, or call us toll-free at 1.800.465.5909.
Our chocolates are sold at over 2,000 specialty stores across the U.S. Our Retail Location Finder allows you to search for a reseller near you. Product selection varies by store — so if you have a particular item in mind, it’s a good idea to call ahead and ask if they carry it. And remember, you can always order your chocolate online right here, for shipment to all 50 states!
Lake Champlain Chocolates is a third-tier chocolate maker, which means we purchase chocolate as a finished ingredient from various suppliers. The cacao beans used to make that chocolate are grown primarily in West Africa, Dominican Republic, and Peru. Our chocolatiers melt and temper the finished chocolate, then add Vermont butter, cream, honey, and maple syrup to create our irresistible line of chocolates, confections, and gifts.
Please read our other FAQs to learn more about LCC’s position on transparency and fair trade. And click here to learn all about how chocolate is made.
When properly stored, solid milk chocolate will last approximately 16 months and solid dark chocolate approximately 20 months. Filled chocolates, such as truffles and pralines, will last approximately three months. See "How to Store Chocolate" for more.
A five-digit “batch code” makes it easy to determine when your chocolates were made. You will find this code printed near the nutritional information (its exact location will vary by product). Note: for hot chocolate products, it’s printed on the bottom of the canister.
Here is how to read the five-digit batch code: the first two digits are the year, and the next three digits are the numbered day of that year. For example, a batch code of “13001” means the product was made on January 1, 2013, while a batch code of “15364” translates to a production date of December 30, 2015.
Once you know the date of production, refer to the recommended shelf-life guidelines in the table below.
Shelf Life of Chocolate - Listed by Product Type:
|Truffles (all flavors)||3 months|
|Solid Dark Chocolate & Bars||20 months|
|Solid Milk Chocolate & Bars||16 months|
|Solid White Chocolate||4 months|
|All Nut, Granola, Toffee, Hazelnut Praline & Cherry Bars||9 months|
|Peppermint Crunch Bar & Chocolates with Mint Inclusions||12 months|
|All Filled Bars (Caramel, Coconut, Truffle Filled, Peanut Butter, Peppermint Cream)
|Grace Under Fire Bar||6 months|
|Organic Spicy Aztec Bar||12 months|
|Five Star Bars (all flavors)||6 months|
|Honey Caramel - Chocolates of Vermont||4 months|
|Evergreen Mint - Chocolates of Vermont||12 months|
|Maple Crunch - Chocolates of Vermont||4 months|
|Green Mountain - Chocolates of Vermont||6 months|
|Panned (Chocolate Covered) Nuts||9 months|
|All Hot Chocolate||18 months|
|Peanut Butter Chocolates||6 months|
|Sea Salt Caramels||5 months|
|Blue Bandana Bars||12 months
|Chocolate Covered Orange Peels||2 months|
|Chocolate Dipped Apricots||3 months|
|Almond Butter Crunch||2 months|
|Peppermint Cheer||4 months|
|All Filled Chocolate Eggs, Leaves, Hearts, Snowflakes & Sensations||6 months|
Most of our chocolates contain soy lecithin, with the exception of our powdered cocoas and the following chocolate bars: Organic 38% Milk Chocolate Bar, Organic 57% Dark Chocolate Bar, Organic 72% Dark Chocolate Bar, Organic Spicy Aztec Bar, Organic Milk Sea Salt & Almonds Bar, Organic Dark Sea Salt & Almonds Bar, Organic Salted Caramel Bar, Organic Milk Chocolate Granola Bar, and all Blue Bandana Chocolate Bars.
Some of our products contain peanuts, tree nuts, dairy, soy, and/or wheat (gluten); it varies by product and we do not guarantee that any are entirely free of trace amounts of these allergenic ingredients. All of our chocolates are manufactured in the same factory with shared equipment and utensils, posing the risk of allergen cross-contact. Good Manufacturing Practices (GMPs) are employed to minimize any potential allergen cross-contact between products. The only exception is our Blue Bandana chocolates, which are free of the allergens listed above.
We are happy to assist you with any questions concerning the ingredients or nutritional information for any of our chocolates. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org for assistance.
Our chocolates are free of hydrogenated oils and trans fats.
Our standard milk chocolate has 34% cocoa, and our standard dark chocolate has 54%. Our organic line ranges from a 38% milk chocolate up to 72% dark. And our Blue Bandana Chocolate Bars contain the highest cocoa content, ranging from 75% to 82% cocoa content.
Our dark chocolate is both kosher and milk-free, containing only cocoa mass, sugar, cocoa butter (which is not a milk derivative), soy lecithin, and vanilla. We do not add milk to our dark chocolate. All dark chocolate and dark chocolate mint items (bars, hearts, squares, and coins), as well as the dark chocolate almond bars and dark chocolate squares, are dairy-free. *Please note: these items are manufactured in the same factory, and with the same equipment, as our products which contain milk products. Equipment is cleaned between products, but we cannot guarantee that any product is entirely free of minute traces of dairy.
All of our products are certified Star-D Kosher by the National Council of Young Israel in affiliation with Star-K Kosher Certification, with the exception of our hot chocolate and unsweetened cocoa (which are certified by the Orthodox Union), and our marshmallows and Blue Bandana chocolate bars (which are not kosher certified). You may check the full listing of our Kosher products on the Star-K website at www.star-k.org. Due to the manufacturing process, we cannot guarantee that any product is entirely free of minute traces of dairy, as there is a potential for cross-contamination. This prevents our products from being pareve.
Our dark chocolate is milk-free, containing only cocoa mass, sugar, cocoa butter (which is vegan), soy lecithin (in our 54% signature dark chocolate), and vanilla. Learn more about what vegan chocolate is and view our complete list of vegan chocolates, or shop our collection of vegan chocolate Easter bunnies (available seasonally). Please note that these items are all manufactured in the same factory and with the same equipment as our products which contain milk products. Equipment is cleaned between products, but we cannot guarantee that any product is entirely free of minute traces of dairy. Also, we use refined sugar in our chocolates, which some vegans avoid.
Unsweetened Cocoa is our only sugar-free product. All of our chocolates are produced with natural ingredients, never with artificial sweeteners, and contain no preservatives. As a general rule, the higher the cocoa content in chocolate, the lower the sugar content. Therefore, dark chocolate contains far less sugar than milk chocolate. We currently offer dark chocolate bars containing anywhere from 54% to 72% cocoa content, as well as single-origin, bean-to-bar dark chocolate containing 75% to 82% cocoa content.
Cocoa Powder: 5 milligrams of caffeine per 8 ounce serving, or 0.002% by weight of the chocolate is caffeine (our Mocha Hot Chocolate and Holiday Peppermint Hot Chocolate are the exception, with 8.65 milligrams of caffeine per 8 ounce serving). Dark Chocolate: 1 ounce of dark chocolate has 20 milligrams of caffeine, or 0.07% by weight of the chocolate is caffeine. Milk Chocolate: 1 ounce of milk chocolate has 6 milligrams of caffeine, or 0.02% by weight of the chocolate is caffeine. For comparison, coffee has 47-164 milligrams of caffeine per 5 ounce serving.
The alkali process, or Dutch Process, is used to neutralize the acidity normally found in chocolate. The process produces a powder with no cocoa butter by pressing the pure cacao paste at very high pressure to produce a fat free powder. We only use alkalized cocoa in our hot cocoas. If alkalized cocoa is used in any product, it must be stated in the ingredients. For more on chocolate terminology, visit "Chocolate Terms."
We believe in the right of every customer to know what’s in their food, and how it’s produced. Since 1983, Lake Champlain Chocolates has been committed to sustainable agriculture, pursuing direct relationships with farmer-producers for our cream, butter, honey, and maple syrup.
And for 30 years, our mission has also been rooted in caring for our communities. Staying true to that mission means providing our customers with the enhanced transparency they seek, which is why Lake Champlain Chocolates is taking concrete steps toward that goal.
Lake Champlain Chocolates is proud to announce it has received Fair for Life - Social & Fair Trade Certification. Fair for Life is a third-party certification for social accountability and fair trade. Above and beyond fair trade certification, it looks at a company’s practices as a whole, including the ingredients used in its products.
Lake Champlain Chocolates sources ingredients from around the globe to use in our confections. Our Fair for Life - Social & Fair Trade Certification affirms the following:
- A price premium is paid to the farmers and co-ops.
- Certified products originate from fair trade producer operations.
- LCC is engaged in long-term partnerships and socially responsible trading practices with its suppliers/purveyors.
- LCC respects the labor rights of its own employees, providing good working conditions.
- LCC is a good community citizen and practices environmental responsibility.
We are proud to support many community service initiatives here and around the world, including a World Cocoa Foundation Family Support Scholarship that empowers women and educates youth in Ivory Coast, Africa.
We are also exploring how direct trade can impact the lives of farmers with Blue Bandana Chocolate. Eric Lampman’s bean-to-bar brand is bringing to life a new vision for sourcing cacao, with a goal of increased transparency. Eric’s work involves forging new relationships with farmers, reinvesting in communities via training and education, and sustaining a high level of quality from producers.
Lake Champlain Chocolates is a third-tier chocolate maker, which means we purchase chocolate as a finished ingredient from various suppliers. Our chocolatiers then add Vermont butter, cream, honey, and maple syrup to create our irresistible line of chocolates, confections, and gifts.
As of April 2016, 97% of the chocolate used by Lake Champlain Chocolates is fair trade certified by FLO-CERT of Fair Trade International. LCC finishes this chocolate into a broad portfolio of delicious confections.
We recognize that third-party certifications offer us, and our customers, the most comprehensive assurance that fair labor practices are being followed.
Achieving Fair for Life certification for a finished product is an additional, rigorous process, above and beyond the use of fair trade chocolate. Products that have earned this certification are recognized by the placement of the Fair for Life icon on the packaging.
Our first finished products to achieve the Fair for Life certification are part of our organic chocolate bar line. We look forward to expanding the number of products that carry the Fair for Life label, and invite you to look for this mark on your favorite LCC products:
Additionally, our hot chocolates are certified by Fair Trade USA. Look for this icon on the canister:
At Lake Champlain Chocolates, the quality of ingredients has always been paramount. We produce a wide selection of certified organic chocolates and confections, which are by definition GMO-free. The use of genetic engineering, or genetically modified organisms (GMOs), is prohibited in organic products. No matter where it was grown, if a product has the USDA Organic label on it, then it was not produced with GMOs.
Soy and corn comprise the highest percentage of genetically modified crops in the U.S., but our customers can be confident that the soy lecithin in our chocolates is non-GMO — even for those products which are not organic certified. In addition, our best-selling milk and dark chocolate sea salt caramels are now made with organic rice syrup.
As we continue toward our goal of full transparency, we’re in the process of eliminating from our line the few ingredients which contain GMOs. In addition, our current R&D efforts are focused on developing organic and non-GMO products. We are excited about all of these changes, and encourage you to check this webpage for updates on our progress!
We are a third-tier chocolate producer, meaning we buy prepared chocolate rather than the raw cocoa beans. The chocolate we purchase already contains refined sugar by the time we buy it. We are aware of the concerns over refined sugar, and where possible we use organic evaporated cane juice.
There are naturally occurring elements in the soil that can be found in trace amounts in virtually all foods including fish, meats, grains, fruits and vegetables. The FDA and other health authorities have determined that these trace amounts of naturally occurring heavy metals in foods are unavoidable and present no public health risk. Our cacao suppliers provide documented evidence that lead and cadmium levels meet or exceed the requirements set by the FDA, EU Commission Regulation, and Codex Alimentarius and there is no process at our factory that contributes to lead or cadmium levels in chocolate.