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 excellence 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


Albert Uster, Regional Sales Director, AUI Fine Foods
Anita Chu, 
Pastry Maker, Creator of Dessert First, & Editor-in-Chief of Sated Magazine
Caitlin Freeman, Pastry Chef at Blue Bottle
Carrie Sullivan,
Market Chef at CUESA
Charlotte Deutsch,
Chocolatier at Fog City News
Christine Hanson, Owner/Master Chocolatier at AF2 Chocolatiers, LLC 
Clay Gordon, Creator and Moderator of The Chocolate Life
Donna Suh,
Sourcing Manager at Heath Ceramics
Frances Wilson, Culinary Instructor at Tante Marie’s Cooking School 
Gary Guittard, Chocolate Maker, Guittard Chocolate Company
Irvin Lin, Founder of Eat the Love
Jenny Raven, Pastry Chef at Boot & Shoe Service
Jesse Manis, Owner of Cacao
Keith Hoelzeman, Co-Founder of Treatsie 
Marc Fiorito, Photographer at Gamma Nine
Megan Costello, 
Chief Chocolate Officer at Easton Malloy, Inc. 
Nathan Palmer-Royston, Product Development and Sourcing, Theo Chocolate
Nina Wanat, Confectioner & Author of Sweet Confections
Rachael Narins, Certified Master Gardener & Food Preserver, Food Writer & Co-Founder of Chicks With Knives
Richard and Janet Tarlov, Co-Owners of Canyon Market
Tamara Palmer, Writer & Editor, Contributor to The Bold Italic