Warm up this winter with a mug of luscious, locally crafted drinking chocolate from Grocer’s Daughter in Empire, near Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore.

Whether you’re looking to create a festive hot cocoa bar for your next holiday soirée, or simply mixing up a late-night mug to satisfy your sweet tooth, artisan chocolate shop Grocer’s Daughter Chocolate has you covered. 

Owners Jody and DC Hayden say their drinking chocolate—offered in milk chocolate, dark chocolate and their 50/50 house blend—is different from your typical hot cocoa. It’s made from ground chocolate, not cocoa powder, which means it retains the cocoa butter fat for a richer, creamier taste. (Yum!) 

Try These Delish Variations
  • Add cinnamon and smoked chili powder to create what Jody and DC call “Dragon’s Breath” hot chocolate.
  • Add a 1⁄2 shot of Iron Fish Distillery’s rum or gin for a spirited holiday drink.
  • Reduce water to 4 ounces for a rich sipping chocolate.
  • Top with homemade whipped cream. At Grocer’s Daughter, Jody and DC make whipped cream using The Farmers’ Creamery heavy cream and a little local maple syrup to sweeten. Divine!
Prep the Perfect Cup

Per serving: 7 ounces water & 1/4 cup drinking chocolate mix

  • Bring water to a boil. Then turn burner off.
  • Add chocolate mix and let stand for 20 seconds.
  • Whisk until chocolate is melted. 

To see a step-by-step guide, head over to Instagram to watch Grocer’s Daughter make a cup.

Photo(s) by Dave Weidner