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About Hartville Chocolate Factory

Our Founders

Bob and Mary Lee Barton opened the doors of the Hartville Chocolate Factory just a few weeks before Easter, in 1986.

Our Heritage

The Hartville Chocolate Factory became well-known throughout the community and beyond.

Our Future

The Bartons invited Scott Huckestein, a former chocolate shop owner - and Chocolate Concepts customer - to join the family business in 2012.

Bob and Mary Lee Barton opened the doors of the Hartville Chocolate Factory just a few weeks before Easter, in 1986. While this was the first time they had introduced themselves to the local community, this dynamic duo was already well-known in the confectionary industry. A few years earlier, the Bartons, along with their son, Bobby, started a chocolate mold manufacturing company, creating one-of-a-kind, quality molds for chocolate businesses nationwide. After visiting several of their customers, they discovered how "sweet" it could be to operate a candy store that offered quality handmade chocolates and other delicious confections. Bob loved the idea of creating a product which would provide happiness to others and often referred to chocolate as the "affordable luxury." He has often been heard saying, "If God created anything better than chocolate, He's saving it for heaven."


The family searched several properties before settling upon a charming storefront located in historic downtown Hartville. Built in 1904, the structure was a testament to the fine craftsmanship of that time and the perfect setting for a chocolate company dedicated to quality, hard work and dedication to one's craft. With a few renovations and a whole lot of love, Hartville’s old-fashioned candy store was created and named the Hartville Chocolate Factory.

As the years passed, the Hartville Chocolate Factory became well-known throughout the community and beyond. Bob and Mary felt blessed to be supported by so many faithful customers. The retail business and chocolate production thrived, eventually requiring the Bartons to purchase a new facility for production, allowing them to now expand the retail business. Their original business, the chocolate mold division now known as Chocolate Concepts, also grew, becoming one of the top nationwide producers of custom plastic molds. Some of their more noteworthy molded creations include NFL quarterback bars, presidential candidate bars and several quality pieces for both national and international hotels, banks, airlines, car companies, historic sites and more. During this time, the company also started to invent, manufacture and refurbish confectionery equipment, a business that continues to be quite successful today. Knowing what a challenge it can be to open and operate a new business, Bob became passionate about educating and equipping all aspiring chocolatiers.


Stepping out in faith, the Hartville Chocolate Factory opened a second store at the Hartville Marketplace in 2002, introducing its unique chocolate flavor to the thousands of tourists who travel to Hartville every year.

While the downtown location continues to be the flagship store, this second shop offers added convenience, handicap accessibility and close proximity to merchants selling a beautiful blend of other products.


Looking into the future and recognizing an increased need for productivity and manufacturing to meet demand, the Bartons invited Scott Huckestein, a former chocolate shop owner - and Chocolate Concepts customer - to join the family business in 2012. Already well-acquainted with the chocolate retail business, Scott worked closely with Bob for three years, learning all that he could about custom molds and machine manufacturing. In 2015, Scott, with private investors, purchased both the Hartville Chocolate Factory and Chocolate Concepts, developing them into subsidiaries of his new company, Cocoa Concepts, Inc. This new parent company, also located in Hartville, Ohio, is quickly becoming the "world headquarters for all things chocolate." Offering an equipment showroom, chocolate museum, consultation services, training courses and event center, Cocoa Concepts Inc. is a delightful destination for chocolate lovers and shop owners alike.

Hartville Chocolate Factory: A Taste of Americana in Every Bite

You’ll take a step back in time when you visit the Hartville Chocolate Factory, our flagship retail store located in historic downtown Hartville. Established in 1986, our confectionary shop offers an old-fashioned atmosphere, tempting guests with a full display of our chocolate creations, homemade fudge, caramels, marshmallows and more! In season, we also offer chocolate-covered strawberries and a delicious variety of locally made ice cream.


While in town, be sure to also visit our second store, located at the Hartville Marketplace. There, we offer the same quality-made chocolates you’ve come to expect from the Hartville Chocolate Factory. We feature a variety of candy and gift items, in addition to our most popular chocolates, ready to grab and go. The Marketplace provides ample parking and is handicap accessible. For the ultimate chocolate experience, consider planning an event at Cocoa Concepts Inc., our new museum-style venue for educational tours, located midway between both of our retail stores. Through informative displays, you’ll learn all about the exciting world of chocolate, its geography, history and production. Or take a 45-minute guided tour, including a chocolate tasting and Q&A session. We’ll work with you to create the perfect party package or after-hours corporate event!