Black Dinah…..here?


A few days ago I took you to Isle au Haut, but I didn’t tell you the whole story.  For a sparsely populated and isolated island, Isle au Haut is full of surprises among which are Black Dinah Chocolates.

Pointing to Black Dinah
Pointing to Black Dinah

If you are not careful as you walk along Isle au Haut’s main dirt road, you just might miss this crudely painted sign pointing down another dirt road.

Black Dinah in Living
Black Dinah in Living

What you need to know about Black Dinah is that it has been featured in Martha Stewart’s Living as well as Gourmet and Coastal Living, 

Isle au Hautand that Kate Shaffer has been named one of top ten chocolatiers in the country.  Yep, all this on an island.

Black Dinah Cafe
Black Dinah Cafe

Who would have guessed this modest frame building is home to both the chocolates and a pint sized cafe which during some summer days not only sells chocolates but serves breakfast, Sunday brunch and killer ice cream.  According to a handout I picked up, here’s what you’ll find: award winning chocolate; helpful, friendly people; fresh bread on Sundays; a small selection of gourmet groceries; hearty breakfasts and yesterday’s paper.

Isle au HautI also spotted Kate’s cookbook which is filled with tempting desserts, all made with chocolate, of course!

Black Dinah Kitchen
Black Dinah Kitchen

Where is the candy made?  Out back, of course, in another unassuming building.

Isle au HautInside, however, is another story.

Isle au HautIn this fully equipped kitchen area, chocolate is cooked and stirred

Isle au Hautand set aside to be cut

Isle au Hautand packaged.

isle au HautLooking at this sign that hangs over a workspace, I couldn’t help but think what fun it might be to spend a few days seeing how it’s all done and maybe even lending a hand.

Though Isle au Haut is the flagship location, there is a second location in Blue Hill where you might be lucky enough to find Kate or her husband Steve serving up espresso or pairing wine with those wonderful chocolates.    If that’s the case, maybe you’ll learn more of their story, like how they came to be on a small Maine island.  It’s an interesting one!  And, should you not be traveling to Maine and want to try Black Dinah Chocolates, check out the website: http://www.blackdinahchocolatiers.com.  You’ll be glad you did.

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15 thoughts on “Black Dinah…..here?

  1. THIS is my kind of place. I wonder if they’d take an intern?!

  2. I love that she has solar panels on her roof! I also love, love, love chocolate!!

  3. Oh, what a fun little place to discover. Thanks for sharing.

  4. Nice story and excellent chocolates. There seems to be a strong French connection in Maine. Seeing the area through your blog is a real voyage of discovery for me.

    1. You are right, particularly in the northern sector. I’m glad you are enjoying discovering Maine. It is a very special place.

  5. Mmm, I love gourmet, artisan chocolate. Black Dinah Chocolatiers looks amazing! What type of chocolate did you sample when you visited?

    1. Love anything with caramel, but what really got me this day was the lemon custard ice cream!

      1. Lemon custard ice cream sounds unusual! As well as chocolate, I enjoy discovering ice cream flavours. There is a little ice cream place near where I live; the ice cream is made locally with fresh, natural ingredients. It tastes so much better than store-bought!

  6. What a delightful find. I have never heard of these chocolates! I so very enjoyed this post and was impressed to see solar panels on the roof!!! Excellent. We have been trying to decided on our domestic trip and your posts are heavily influencing a trip to Main and New England!

  7. A delightful day trip you had 🙂 And, the Black Dinah Chocolatiers…!!

  8. Yes, I would happily volunteer to lend a hand or my taste buds! I’m not sure I would do a better job than Lucy or Ethel though 🙂

  9. Hidden spots are where you can find the most amazing things.

  10. This is very interesting. For some reason your blog is not coming in on my bloglovin reader so I may be late in replying lately.

    You are having some fun experiences. Thanks for taking us along on your adventures.

  11. Lulu, this place is now officially on my bucket list 🙂

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