Once a year my family and I travel to what I consider to be one of the most beautiful places in Michigan, Sleeping Bear Sand Dunes along Lake Michigan. This tradition started 5 years ago when my hubby, fur baby, and I moved back North. During my short stay in metro Detroit, I realized how much I missed our lakes up North and realized I never fully embraced what Northern MI had to offer! The first year back, we loaded up our car and drove over to Empire.
We packed our car with a cooler, food, swimsuits, and our baby girl Daisy.🐕 On our way to spend the day on the beach we needed to make a pit stop in Traverse City, get out, stretch our legs, and walk around for a bit. Actually, we really needed to stop at the D.O.G🐶 bakery before heading to the dunes. 😊 After picking up a couple treats we got back in the car and finished our drive. The drive to the dunes is almost as beautiful as actually being there. There are so many cute shops, markets with fresh local produce, and beautiful houses along the way. The path there is lined with gorgeous trees, whose leaves are starting to turn reds and oranges, 🍂 and the air is so fresh and crisp. Now our family has grown and we enjoy the trip over every year!
Before heading to Lake Michigan there is one stop that MUST be made! Okay, chocolate lovers listen up… and remember this name (or remember this page to reference: )) THE GROCER’S DAUGHTER.🍫
OH.MY.GOODNESS. This is chocolate on a whole new level! First of all, this place is located in the little town of Empire which is a population of about 400 roughly. Don’t quote me on that but this village is small. It is a bright green building that can maybe fit about 15-20 people on the sales floor comfortably.
When you walk through the door, it is like you are walking into a cocoa bean. There is a fruity cocoa-y smell. Not that that overly sweet, sugary caramelly smell which I also love but there is something refreshing about walking into a chocolate shop that smells like cocoa. There in front of you is a perfectly clean glass case housing several different types of truffles. This case is filled with anything but your ordinary milk, white and dark truffles. It is filled with all sorts of eclectic flavors like ghianduja, maya, Hummingbird, basil and the list goes on.
I usually make a quick pass across the sales floor and find a couple of new pieces of chocolate to try. They always have samples for you to try set out.
My favorite thing about this shop is how dedicated they are to how/where they are sourcing their cocoa from. They also have different displays set out educating the everyday consumer like myself about chocolate. Every year their staff travels to Ecuador to visit cocoa farms. What is really cool is that they open up the tour for fellow chocolate enthusiasts to join them on their venture.
I usually walk out of the shop with a box of truffles, a new bar, and I let Hunter pick a treat out as well because I am sorry but I am not sharing these truffles with anyone. Just ask my hubby what happens if one happens to “disappear” 😘😘
After returning home from a long day on the beach. I put my chocolates in the fridge…in the way back of the fridge so no one can find them. 😉
The photo above is from my trip this year, minus a few. The basil and hummingbird have to be my favorites. The basil is the main flavor in this truffle and so smooth. It is not just a small note of basil you taste, instead, basil is the star!!! Every part of basil is in that truffle. The savory part of basil with that herby fragrance pairs perfectly with the chocolate leaving you satisfied with all of the sweetness basil has to offer.
I have not tried the Light Of Day Hummingbird tea but I know I need to! The dark chocolate is infused with this fruity tea and it leaves you feeling light happy and completely satisfied with this pick! I always pick up my hubby the Maya truffle because it packs a small kick of cinnamon and ancho chili.
Please if you are traveling to Northern MI I urge you to make a stop and even go out of your way to check this place out! You will not be sorry. Check out their website and please let me know what you try!!!