Dean and Kristin Bingham know a thing or two about partnership. At their flagship chocolate shop on Fore Street, you’ll find Dean, a former architect turned chocolatier, doing the physical work of creating confections while Kristin, as Dean so eloquently puts it, "does everything else." Though their journey to chocolate followed a winding path—at one point, the couple considered diving into the world of ice cream—Dean’s Sweets has been steadily growing since its inception in 2008. "We attended a chocolate potluck several years in a row, and I always tried to make the best item," Dean laughs. "I started making truffles and giving them away, and people told me I should sell them. At some point, you foolishly believe them, and that's how we got here," he explains.
At Dean's Sweets, each confection is made from the finest imported chocolate with no preservatives, gluten, or nuts. In addition to delectable truffles handcrafted with local ingredients like Maine sea salt, blueberries, maple syrup, butter, and cream, the shop offers three flavors of hot chocolate mix, award-winning hot fudge and caramel sauces, buttercreams and caramels, seasonal treats, and monthly subscription boxes. To celebrate the shop's 20th anniversary this year, Dean and Kristin have developed a collection of new, never-offered-before chocolate confections to be offered in stores and via subscription. “Even after 20 years of chocolate-making, we don’t tire of exceptionally good combinations,” Dean says.