Love at First Bite

Valentine's Day chocolates by Truffle Hill Chocolates.
Chocolate shop heads to downtown Excelsior.

In a building that looks plucked straight out of the pages of Hansel and Gretel, Truffle Hill Chocolates has been crafting artisan chocolate treats for the last 28 years. But now, a new chapter is about to begin as the chocolatier makes the 1.1 mile move from Tonka Bay (Excelsior) to downtown Excelsior. “We’ve always aspired to be in downtown Excelsior,” says owner Marshall Morehead. “Now, we have an opportunity with this building on Water Street.”

Morehead says he hopes to move Truffle Hill Chocolates to 345 Water Street by the end of the first quarter of 2023. At press time, renovations were underway for the historic space to create both a production area and a retail space. “We’ll be going from about 200 square feet of retail to about 2,000 square feet,” Morehead says. “It’s a lot of space to fill up with chocolate.”

Morehead says core products, including those indulgent truffles, turtles and flavored popcorns, will continue to be offered, but the new space will allow for the expansion of offerings. “We’ll be adding products and services,” Morehead says. Ultimately, he envisions a true candy store with “unique candy and things that you can’t find anywhere else.”

The idea is to grow the customer base by attracting younger people while still providing its signature high quality, detail-oriented products.

“We need to challenge ourselves to grow,” Morehead says. He believes the increased foot traffic of Water Street will be the key to the store’s growth. “We don’t get much foot traffic at our current location,” he says. “We hope the move will introduce us to new customers.”

Rose-shaped chocolates from Truffle Hill Chocolates.

Morehead says loyal customers have been supportive about the move to downtown Excelsior, but he understands their strong emotions surrounding the existing space. “It’s a nostalgic, unique building that has served the business well for the last 28 years,” he says. Truffle Hill Chocolates first opened its doors on Smithtown Road in Tonka Bay in 1995. It offered small batch artisan chocolate and quickly became a popular destination for the Lake Minnetonka community. Morehead purchased the business in 2016, trading the indulgent world of wine for the indulgent world of chocolate.

Morehead says his favorite Truffle Hill products are the signature truffles, chocolate caramel corn with almonds and peanut butter meltaways.

For those new to Truffle Hill, Morehead suggests starting with its milk chocolate or dark chocolate truffles. More adventurous types will want to try one of the liqueur flavored truffles infused with Baileys Irish Cream, Kahlúa and more. And if heat is what you crave, Morehead recommends the Mexican truffle. “It has pepper flakes, so there’s a little spice to it,” he says.

The best-selling product is the variety box. Morehead says a lot of those go out the door in the two weeks leading up to Valentine’s Day. He understands why people turn to the confections to show their love. “Chocolate has so much emotion tied to it,” he says.

And when it comes to chocolate, Morehead cannot help but tout Truffle Hill’s prowess. “The quality, the attention to detail—we know we do it well,” he says.

Truffle Hill Chocolates
24320 Smithtown Road (for now!), Tonka Bay (Excelsior); 952.470.1996
Facebook: Truffle Hill Chocolates
Instagram: @trufflehillchocolates