Our focus is on celebrating confections – whether chocolate covered bon bons or gloriously simple caramels – produced using locally grown, natural, minimally processed ingredients that celebrate regional culture and tradition; highlight American terroir; and exemplify excellent in the candy making craft. View the full criteria for entry.


Susie Wyshak, author of Good Food, Great Business (2014), draws upon a lifelong confection obsession–a childhood chocolate wrapper collection, several years at a confectionery, an MBA thesis on chocolate, and helping kick off the U.S. Fair Trade chocolate program–to help recognize American candy makers focused on conscious sourcing and deliciousness.

Jane Atkins Franch is the Manager of Sustainability for the Food and Agriculture division of SCS Global Services, where she works towards sustainability at the farm level for coffee and cocoa through compliance and certification programs for companies including Starbucks and Ferrero, and non-profit organizations such as Fair Trade USA


Amy Guittard, Marketing Manager, Guittard Chocolate Company
Clay Gordon, Creator and Moderator, The Chocolate Life
Brian Wood, Owner and Executive Pastry Chef, Starter Bakery


Aimee Thunberg,Director of Communications, Slow Food USA
Amy Sherman, Freelance Writer & Cookbook Author
Carrie Sullivan, Chef Instructor, International Culinary School at The Art Institute of CA
Danielle Vogel,Owner and Manager at Glen’s Garden Market
David Merritt,Director of Engineering at Buyers Best Friend
Diane Campbell, Owner at The Candy Store
Deirdre David, Pastry Chef and Baking Instructor at Laney College
Irvin Lin, Founder at Eat the Love
Jenny Raven, Pastry Chef at Boot & Shoe Service
Jesse Manis, Owner at Cacao
Kara Nielsen, Trendologist  at CCD Innovation
Louise Kramer,Communications Director at Specialty Food Association
Maddy Beckwith, Administrative & Chef-at-Market Program Coordinator at FRESHFARM Markets
Melissa Baldauf,Sales at DropBox
Melissa Scheeline,Buyer of Food at William Sonoma
Michelle Marie Ritchie, Founder at Delicious Karma
Neil Lick, Vice President of Retail Merchandising at William Sonoma
Nina Wanat, Confectioner & Author of Sweet Confections
Robb Duncan, Owner at Dolcezza Gelato
Sarah Gordon,Owner at Gordy’s Pickles
Sol-mi Friedman, Assistant Buyer at Fog City News
Susie Norris, Author at Hand-Crafted Candy Bars