Here’s our disclaimer:
All of our ingredients are clean, wholesome and of fine quality. Most of them are organic or grown without pesticides and produced without chemicals. We use a large variety of herbs, spices, grains and seeds. We use all sorts of nuts, including peanuts and peanut products, in our kitchen and in some of our confections; and we make these products on the same equipment we use to make our products without nuts. We produce both our milk and dark chocolate products on the same equipment and bake with wheat flour in the same kitchen where we produce our chocolate. The single-origin chocolate that we begin with contains soy lecithin, an emulsifier. If you have severe allergies to soy, wheat, milk or nuts, we ask you to consider these facts as you decide whether or not to enjoy our confections. Black Dinah Chocolatiers is committed to the use of real ingredients to make real food.
Given the above information, below are general categories for those of you who have particular dietary preferences or restrictions:
All of the products we offer online are gluten-free.
However, we do make products for our three retail locations that contain gluten. Our team behind the counter at our tasting rooms and cafes can help you with questions about which products contain gluten.
Sipping Chocolate Mix, Ancho Chile Bark, Almond-Sea Salt Bark, Lavender Bark, Almond-Date Hedgehogs, Peanut Butter Peepers, Frogletiers, and some rotating seasonal items are vegan. Our Honeyed Hazelnut Bark is dairy-free, but contains honey.
Black Dinah Sea Turtle (cashews, Brazil nuts), Hazelnut Latte Truffle (hazelnuts), Northern Apple Truffle (pecans), Ancho Chile Bark (pecans), Coffee Peanut Bark (peanuts), Almond & Maine Sea Salt Bark (almonds), Honeyed Hazelnut Bark (hazelnuts), You’ll Understand When You’re Older (peanuts), Persian Love Caramel (pistachios).
0–20 Degrees Latitude (coffee-flavored rum), The Eastside Flamingo (dark rum), Gonne Maude (whiskey), Hazelnut Latte (coffee-flavored rum), Downeast Sea Breeze (cranberry-infused vodka), Northern Apple (vanilla extract), New England Pie Pumpkin (vanilla extract), Everything In Moderation, Including Moderation (rye whiskey).
Our gourmet chocolate truffles are made with fresh, real ingredients, and are perishable. For this reason (if you really need a reason), we recommend that you enjoy them as soon as possible. However, they will keep for 3 weeks at room temperature. We do not recommend that you refrigerate them. Do, however, keep them out of the sunlight and away from direct heat sources.
For your convenience, the (cool) room temperature shelf life of our products are as follows:
If you would like to store any of your BDC chocolates for longer than their shelf life, please follow these instructions: Wrap the box tightly in a double layer of plastic wrap, or place in zippered plastic freezer bag with an airtight seal, and remove all the air from the bag. Place them in the freezer. When you are ready to enjoy your chocolates, remove from the freezer, and allow chocolates to come to room temperature (we recommend 24 hours) before removing them from their airtight wrapping.
We began our small company where many small businesses begin— with just the two of us working from our home. As our company grew and expanded, we invited our new employees to share our space. We all worked long hours, and we often shared our meals together as well. We bought a few pieces of new equipment, expanded our tiny café onto an outdoor deck, and soon our entire house was part of our growing company, and we were—literally—living inside a chocolate factory.
While that may seem like a fantasy for a lot of people, it certainly put a cramp in our private life. So, after Black Dinah was featured in several publications with national reach, which resulted in another record-breaking holiday season in 2010, we got to work and started designing a new kitchen.
With the help of several state and federally-funded grants, Steve designed a state-of-the-art, solar-powered production facility, that would nestle nicely into the shell of an unfinished barn, already on our island property. This kitchen features a 3.21kW photovoltaic array on a south-facing rooftop. The system is tied to the existing electrical grid—the first of its type on the island. The photovoltaic panels produce roughly a quarter of our annual electrical usage (both commercial and household).
The kitchen’s roof is also host to a panel of evacuated tubes, which help heat the water we use to wash our dishes. With the help of an on-demand propane booster, we can heat our water hot enough to sanitize without the use of harmful chemicals—AND use less propane in the process.
Other goodies include a super efficient air-conditioning unit, foot-friendly floor made from recycled vinyl car seats, outside refrigeration compressors to reduce noise and over-heating inside our temperature-controlled kitchen, and a 100% composting and recycling system.
After four years, with increasing sales and a growing product line, we outgrew our 500 square-foot island kitchen. It was time to move to the mainland.
In June of 2015 we moved production to a 4,200 square-foot factory in downtown Westbrook, Maine. Steve spent almost a year working with architects and builders, designing the well-lit, spacious, brightly-colored space. Our newest location features state-of-the-art, custom-made equipment; a cozy retail store; a viewing window for the public; and bi-weekly factory tours.
But best of all, our latest expansion allowed us to invite new talent to our team–and the care and dedication of the folks behind our confections are, after all, what makes them so special.
While Kate and Steve have focused their energies on growing their company on the mainland, our island kitchen is still cooking.
This past summer, it was host to talented island bakers from The Island Store, keeping residents and visitors in pastries and sandwiches all summer long.
It is also the location for an indulgent (and educational!) chocolate workshop featured as part of Down East Magazine’s annual Penobscot Bay Food Cruise.
And in the spring of 2017, with the help of good friends and dedicated customers, Kate and Steve hope to re-open the Black Dinah Cafe after a two-year hiatus.
We take great care to ensure that our product arrives at your doorstep looking like it did when it left ours. If for any reason your order does not arrive in satisfactory condition, please contact us within 24 hours of receipt of the product. We are happy to resend the order or give you a full refund. Please call us at 207.887.9763 to begin the process.