Best Bets: Sweet Shops & Chocolates North of Boston

By Keith Spencer

In our NoBo’s Best Bets series, we offer our favorite ways to fulfill the needs of our readers looking for reliable and reasonable suggestions North of Boston. With Valentine’s Day on the horizon, we have your best bets for sweet shops and chocolate North of Boston. Whether you’re looking for the most decadent chocolates or something special for your Valentine, these shops have everything you need to make your Valentine’s Day a holiday to remember.

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Turtle Alley Handmade Chocolates

Turtle Alley Chocolates: Salem & Gloucester

Life is short. Sin a little. Words to live by at this fun, vibrant chocolate shop with two great locations in historic Gloucester and Salem. Their fine, hand-made chocolates are made in small batches using natural ingredients, the finest chocolate, real butter, and fresh cream. They are known for their warm personalities and inviting atmosphere. My all-time personal favorite is the white chocolate, blueberry cashew turtles and the bacon peanut butter cups. With both traditional fare and innovative combinations, Turtle Alley has something to offer for everyone.

42 Rogers Street, Gloucester

177 Essex Street, Salem

For more information about their Gloucester shop, call (978) 281-4000. For information about their Salem shop, call (978) 740-0660. Visit Turtle Alley online at or on Facebook.

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Sweet Lydias LowellSweet Lydia’s: Lowell

What started out as an experiment in the kitchen to create care packages for friends and family has now turned into a booming business. Sweet Lydia’s in Lowell offers s’more and s’more delights perfect for Valentine’s Day. While their one-of-a-kind s’mores have propelled their popularity, the hand crafted quality from which they have always been created remains the same. With an every-changing selection of flavors and delicious marshmallow combinations, your sweet tooth will be left with nothing but satisfaction after trying one of their many homemade sweets.

160 Merrimack St, Lowell

For more information, please call (978) 888-7616, visit, or like their page on Facebook.

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Tuck's Candy RockportTuck’s Candy: Rockport

In 1929, Walter F. Tuck began making home-made candies in Rockport. Eighty years later, his family is still using the same homemade techniques. Mr. Tuck and the two generations that have followed produce superior candies that are sumptuous and traditional. While their Valentine’s selection isn’t dazzling, their fine candies and chocolates are the perfect way to satisfy your sweetheart’s sweet tooth. Their chocolate caramel delights, jumbo nonpareils, and melt-away cups are my ultimate favorites while the chocolate covered orange peels, oreo cookies, and devil dog pops are a great choice for any chocoholic or general sweet tooth. One thing is for sure: Tuck’s is yet another reason while this village by the sea is a NoBo Best Bet.

15 Main Street, Rockport

For more information, please call (978) 546-6352 or (800) 569-2767. Visit their website at or on Facebook.

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MariasSweetSometingsMaria’s Sweet Somethings: Salem

They call themselves the most decadent place in town, and it’s pretty clear that Maria’s Sweet Somethings really does have some wicked good confections. The Front Street sweet shop will satisfy every Valentine and the day-to-day sweet tooth with some of the best chocolates, candies, ice cream, and desserts around.

With gourmet chocolates from around the world, Maria’s stocks delectable truffles from Joseph Schmidt Confections, Lake Champlain Chocolates, and Byrne and Carlson to name a few. Their holiday-themed candies are the perfect choice for moms and dads looking for special goodies for the kids too. The shop also offers up 32 flavors of Richardson’s ice cream, real fruit frozen smoothies, Belgium hot chocolate, homemade Baklava, and so much more.

26 Front Street, Salem, MA

For more information, please call (978) 825-9111, email, or visit

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The Chocolate Truffle ReadingThe Chocolate Truffle: Reading, Lynnfield, & Winchester

If that special someone is a fan of truffles, this chocolatier is your one-stop shop before Valentine’s Day. Their handmade, hand rolled truffles and hand dipped chocolates are certainly their signature items, but they have so much more to offer. If you’re looking for something more out of the box, choose from one of their innovative gourmet bars that feature refreshing, unique flavors like pink Himalayan sea salt, BBQ bacon, or pumpkin apricot. Looking for something more classic? They offer traditional, perennial favorites as well, fulfilling all of their clients’ needs. Hosting a party? The Chocolate Brioche is the perfect centerpiece for every occasion. This chocolate shell is filled with their finest hand dipped salt caramels, chocolate mousse, and caramel toffee crunch.

The Chocolate Truffle has three retail locations spread across the NoBo region with a wholesale and manufacturing facility located in Swampscott. When you talk about Go Local, you couldn’t pick a better choice.

586 Main Street, Lynnfield

494 Main Street, Reading

18 Thompson St, Winchester

For more information, please call (781) 944-7155 or visit their website at You can also find them on Facebook

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Russo's Holiday ChocolatesHonorable Mention: Russo’s Chocolates

During its heyday, Russo’s Chocolates in Saugus was the haven for those looking for Valentine’s Day candy. Since downsizing from its historic, retail location on Route 1, the candy maker has considerably lost its local market share as the choice for chocolates and candy for all occasions.

329 Main Street, Saugus

Call (781) 233-1737 or visit for more information.


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