Here in Milwaukee, the notoriously grumpy owner of Northern Chocolate Co. Jim Fetzer, aka, the Chocolate Nazi, is part of the Easter tradition. And his claims that each year is his last are about as predictable as Elton John’s annual announcement of his final final tour.
In May of 2019, Fetzer said he was planning to sell his all his inventory and shut down the beloved shop in Brewers Hill. In 2017, he said he was slowing down and only planned to be open a few weekends a year. But here we are in the midst of a pandemic and Fetzer is, thank goodness, selling some of his classic confections when we perhaps need him the most.
Visiting Northern Chocolate has always been an experience, from breathing in the beautifully restored interior, with its antique chocolate molds, to the interactions with its eccentric owner (who would make you remove your shoes before entering if there was precipitation of any kind on the sidewalk outside). Right now, Fetzer has a protocol customers need to follow to procure their chocolates safely. He will not allow you into the shop but will perform all transactions at the door, and he expects customers to keep a distance of 6 feet from each other.
With Fetzer in (semi-)retirement, this is one visit that may be worth making. His molded bunnies (in milk and dark chocolate) and mint meltaways are spectacular. But Northern Chocolate Co. isn’t the only place where you can procure some chocolates in time for Easter. We’ve rounded up a short list of shops that can satisfy your sweet tooth.
2034 N. Dr. Martin Luther King Dr., 414-372-1885
Northern Chocolate Co.: Currently, owner Jim Fetzer says his stock consists of some molded Easter bunnies, mint meltaways and a few other small-batch dipped confections. Hours: Sat April 11, 10 a.m.-3 p.m.
211 S. Second St., 414-223-0123
The Walker’s Point location has a limited amount of milk and dark chocolate bunnies and frogs. They also have truffles, though the selection is getting low, I’m told, and chocolate bars. Open Friday 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Call ahead, place your order and they will do curbside delivery of your goods.
3840 N. Fratney St., 414-964-7327
The Riverwest candy shop is one of my favorites for butter toffee. The shop has shorter hours right now (10 a.m.-3 p.m.). Call ahead. You may still be able to get your hands on bunnies (in dark, milk and white chocolate), cream-filled chocolate eggs, Easter pectin jellies and mendiants, a French confection of chocolate discs topped with dried fruit and nuts.
7312 W. Greenfield Ave., West Allis, 414-453-5353
Stop by soon; the selection is going fast. It includes whipped cream eggs and some solid chocolate bunnies. Only two customers are allowed in the shop at one time. Curbside pickup is available. Hours: Fri 10 a.m.-5 p.m. and Sat, 9 a.m.-3 p.m.