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August 21, 2017


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Katherine Anne Confections

At her small, independent contiserie in Chicago's Logan Square, Katherine Anne Duncan makes sweets from fresh, locally sourced ingredients.

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Growing up on a small sustainable farm, Katherine Anne Duncan learned how to use only fresh, locally sourced ingredients to fulfill her sweetest dreams.

Katherine was only 8 years old when she began making caramels in the kitchen of her family's Wisconsin farmhouse. By the age of 10, Katherine had turned her hobby into a full-fledged small business, selling "Katherine's Karamels" at her dad’s office for 25 cents a pop.

Fast forward to the present day,  where an adult Katherine has traded the plots of Midwestern farmland for the streets of Chicago’s Logan Square neighborhood. Located just steps from the elevated trail known as the 606, Katherine Anne Confections is a bijou confiserie with wooden tables and cabriole sofas tucked among exposed-brick walls. As one visitor remarked in TripAdvisor, a visit to Katherine Anne Confections is like stumbling upon the perfect chocolate shop in a romantic little European town.

Katherine's old-fashioned caramels—made by hand with the cream from her family's Jersey milking cows—were her first foray into the world of artisan confections, but she hasn't outgrown her commitment to local ingredients. Whether making hand-dipped truffles, soft honey caramels, or pillowy marshmallows, Katherine insists upon the finest ingredients sourced from local farms, including cream from Central Illinois and Wildfire Honey from Schaumburg. That duty to sustainability even extends to the store's eco-friendly packaging, such as beautiful 20-piece gift box made exclusively from tree-free paper.

In a recent feature by CBS News and Chicago Magazine, Katherine Anne’s super-thick hot chocolate was chosen the best in the city, surpassing even Ghirardelli’s. Made from real ground chocolate (not cocoa powder and never corn syrup), the rich concoction is available in several varieties, which you can order it in flights similar to wine. Choose from dozens of original Katherine Anne flavor and marshmallow combinations, including the salted caramel and Mexican hot chocolate. However many flavors you try, it only takes one sip to know why Fodor’s Travel named Katherine Anne Confections one of the 15 Best Places to Drink Hot Chocolate in America.

Katherine isn't content to sit back and indulge, though. Instead, she's happy to help others learn make their own truffles during a series of popular classes, and every week she introduces new truffle creations to supplement mainstays such as Java, Hazelnut, Mayan Cherry, Goat Cheese Walnut, Manhattan Cocktail, and Coconut Rum. She also creates a monthly "Local Chef Truffle" with 20% of profits going to a charity chosen by a local chef. Fresh-roasted French press coffees are perfect complement to chocolate, of course, but they also pair well with the shop's handcrafted sandwiches featuring herbs Katherine grows in her own garden—as if she'd settle for anything less. 

Discover more Illinois Artisans at Illinois Made.


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