Lake Champlain Chocolates
Our chocolate factory in Burlington, VT

Frequently Asked Questions:

What are your hours of operation?

The Lake Champlain Chocolates offices are open Monday through Friday from 8:30 AM-5:30 PM EST. We will be closed for business on the following holidays:

New Year's Day (Observed) - Monday, January 2, 2017

Memorial Day - Monday, May 29, 2017

LCC Day - Friday, June 16, 2017

Independence Day - Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Labor Day - Monday, September 4, 2017

Thanksgiving - Thursday, November 23, 2017

Christmas Day - Monday, December 25, 2017

New Year's Day - Monday, January 1, 2018


What is the shelf life of a product?

Lake Champlain Chocolates are all natural and made without preservatives, shelf extenders, or other additives. What makes LCC chocolates so unique also makes them particularly sensitive to aging. LCC makes all products in small batches so they’re at the peak of freshness when they leave the factory. We rely on our retailers to help maintain this exceptional attention to quality. For more information please refer to the specific product page.


What is the proper way to read batch codes and rotate stock?

It’s very important to rotate stock by always keeping the oldest products at the front of displays and storage areas (“first in, first out”). Be aware that LCC truffles & filled pieces, and the gift boxes that contain them, are more sensitive to aging than solid chocolates. The 5-digit batch codes on the label identify the manufacturing date of the contents. The first two digits correspond to the year and the last three digits correspond to the Julian date (day of the year). For example, a box marked 16123 was produced in 2016 on May 3.
Download our Batch Code Calendar.


What is the best way to store my chocolates?

Chocolate is sensitive to changes in heat, humidity, and light. Always store chocolate in a cool, dry place between 65º - 70º F, and with a humidity level between 45%- 55%. Do not refrigerate chocolate, as it will cause condensation and bloom. Keep chocolate away from floors & walls (for air circulation), strong odors (which can change the taste); dry goods like cereals and grains (which might encourage insects); and display lights and sunny windows (which give off heat).


What is chocolate “bloom”?

When chocolate is subjected to changes in temperature (refrigeration or heat) it can “bloom.” Fat bloom is a white discoloration caused when the cocoa butter rises to the surface of the chocolate and leaves behind a fat residue. Sugar bloom is a similar white deposit made by unwanted crystallization of the sugar. To avoid bloom, keep chocolate at a consistent 65º - 70º F.


Are any of your products vegan?

Our dark chocolate is milk-free, containing only cocoa mass, sugar, cocoa butter (which is vegan), soy lecithin, and vanilla. Please note that these items are all manufactured in the same factory and with the same equipment as our products which contain milk products. Equipment is cleaned between products, but we cannot guarantee that any product is entirely free of minute traces of dairy. Also, we use refined sugar in our chocolates, which some vegans avoid.


Do your chocolates have allergens in them such as soy, peanuts, tree nuts, dairy, and gluten?

Most of our chocolates contain soy lecithin, with the exception of our powdered cocoas and the following chocolate bars: Organic 38% Milk Chocolate Bar, Organic 57% Dark Chocolate Bar, Organic 72% Dark Chocolate Bar, Organic Spicy Aztec Bar, Organic Milk Sea Salt & Almonds Bar, Organic Dark Sea Salt & Almonds Bar, Organic Salted Caramel Bar, and all Blue Bandana Chocolate Bars.
Some of our products contain peanuts, tree nuts, dairy, wheat, and/or gluten; it varies by product, and we cannot guarantee that any are entirely free of trace amounts of these ingredients. All of our chocolates are manufactured in the same factory with the same equipment, which could pose the risk of cross-contamination. The only exception is our Blue Bandana Bars, which are allergen free.
Vanilla Malt Truffles, Hazelnut Praline Pumpkins, Five Star Granola Bar & Five Star Hazelnut Bars all contain gluten.


Are your products Kosher?

All of our products are certified Star-D Kosher by the National Council of Young Israel in affiliation with Star-K Kosher Certification, with the exception of our hot chocolate, unsweetened cocoa (which are certified by the Orthodox Union), and Blue Bandana chocolate bars (which are not kosher certified). Due to the manufacturing process, we cannot guarantee that any product is entirely free of minute traces of dairy, as there is a potential for cross-contamination. This prevents our products from being pareve.


Are your products compliant with Vermont Act 120 non-GMO labeling laws?

Yes. Beginning in early 2012, Lake Champlain Chocolates started making a conscious transition away from genetically engineered (GE) ingredients. Since then, our pillars of sourcing new ingredients included mandatory Non-GMO status. We have worked diligently to eliminate GE materials and/or confirm Non-GMO compliance throughout our raw material supply chain. You can be assured that all Lake Champlain Chocolates offered to you, through our wholesale distribution channel, do not contain ingredients make with genetic engineering and our labelling is in compliance with Vermont Act 120.


Are your products Organic?

Here at Lake Champlain Chocolates we are committed to sourcing non-GMO ingredients and strive to use organic ingredients whenever possible. We currently offer a full line of organic chocolate bars and bite-sized squares as well as an increasing number of organic seasonal products. As of August 2017, our portfolio includes almost 150 organic and fair trade certified products.


Are your products Fair Trade Certified?

Sourcing matters, because that is how we create incredibly delicious chocolates. In 2013, Lake Champlain Chocolates became a Fair for Life - Social & Fair Trade Certified Company. As of August 2017, 99% of the chocolate we use is fair trade certified by FLO-CERT of Fair Trade International. To learn more about our on-going dedication increased transparency and to social and fair trade principles please click here.


What are your Quality Assurance Policies?

We have established HACCP (Hazardous Analysis and Critical Control Point) and GMP (Good Manufacturing Practice) guidelines. In addition, we have pest control and sensory tasting programs in place. GMP’s are guidelines established by the Federal and State agencies to assure that food products are manufactured and stored under safe and sanitary conditions. GMP guidelines are established to satisfy regulatory requirements as well as maintain the high quality standards and consistent quality of our products.


What trade shows do you attend?


January 21-23, 2018
National Association for the Specialty Food Trade Show
Booth #563
Moscone Convention Center
San Francisco, CA
www.fancyfoodshows.com


March 8-10, 2018
Natural Products Expo West
Booth #N1706.
Anaheim Convention Center
Anaheim, CA
www.expowest.com


May 22-24, 2018
Sweets & Snacks Expo
Booth #1099
McCormick Place
Chicago, IL
www.sweetsandsnacks.com