When Joshua Becker traveled to the Netherlands, he brought back more than just pictures and stories. After witnessing the delicate craftsmanship of the country’s chocolatiers—and tasting the rich flavors of Dutch chocolate—Becker found himself in love with the art of chocolate making. Back stateside, he enrolled at St. Louis’ Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts, earning a certificate in Pâtisserie and Baking in 2012. A year later, he opened Cocoa Blue Chocolates—a small-town confectionary inspired by those that so enamored him overseas.
Located in Rochester, Illinois—mere miles from Springfield—Cocoa Blue claims a space in the old Town Hall building, lending an old-fashioned intimacy to the shop. During a visit, you can see Becker and his staff produce high-end chocolates from scratch, getting a behind-the-scenes look at the artisanal process of making chocolates, caramels, and truffles.
For many of his creations, Becker imports ingredients straight from the Netherlands, in order to imbue each truffle with the authentic taste of rich Dutch chocolate. But even if the cocoa comes from overseas, each is made right here at home. Whether you’re on your way to see the Illinois capital or en route to one of the historic towns nearby, be sure to visit Cocoa Blue Chocolates for a sweet taste that's truly Illinois Made.
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