Colossal NJ Chocolate Expo: Sample Treats Galore and Meet Stars From Original ‘Willy Wonka’

The Chocolate Expo in Edison promises cocoa-fueled fun for the whole family.

Assorted chocolates
Photo: Shutterstock/Arpan Bhatia

Ready to go loco for cocoa?

Chocoholics from around the state can flock to the Chocolate Expo at the New Jersey Convention & Exposition Center in Edison this weekend, Saturday, March 9, and Sunday, March 10.

The indoor festival, a colossal celebration of chocolate in all forms, will feature more than 100 booths of culinary artisans, who will offer their wares for tasting and purchasing. Samples will be abundant, and trays of chocolates will circulate throughout the event floor.

Following your chocolate bliss might involve imbibing chocolate beers from Edison’s South 40 Brewing Co., trying wine and liquor chocolate pairings, and even meeting cast members of the 1971 film Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory. Young choco-freaks are invited to the Kidz Zone, featuring games, face makeup and a Chocolate Smash activity.

Kids smash chocolate at Chocolate Expo in Edison

The Chocolate Smash in the Kidz Zone Photo: ©Chuck Fishman

In this chocolate galaxy you’ll encounter every expression of the magical stuff: chocolate bars, bonbons and truffles; some pure chocolates and some starring secondary delicacies: fruits, nuts, bacon, coconut, coffee, herbs, spices, flowers, honey and liqueurs. Check out hot and iced cocoa, chocolate shakes and smoothies, fudges, candies, syrups, barks, brownies, doughnuts, cookies, cupcakes and gelatos. Also on the menu: hot sauces, empanadas, gummies and popcorn, plus chocolate bath bombs and lip balms. Gluten-free, vegan and kosher treats will be available.

Many of New Jersey’s chocolate-besotted businesses will represent at the Expo for your tasting and shopping pleasure. You’ll find neighborhood favorites like 2 Chicks with Chocolate (Middletown), 7th Heaven Chocolate (Jersey City), BAM Desserts (Somerset), DiLena Dolcini (Ridgefield Park), Enjou Chocolat (Morristown), For the Love of Toffee (Sparta), Mozart Chocolate Liqueurs (Cedar Knolls), Nashaa Chocolates (Jersey City), and Simply Lovely Treats (Irvington).

Also in the house: choco-friendly cafés, tea shops, online retailers, local wineries (including Cream Ridge and Valenzano) and Girl Scouts of Central & Southern NJ.

Assorted chocolates at Chocolate Expo in Edison

Photo: ©Chuck Fishman

“The Expo is where you bring your passion for chocolate,” says exhibitor Steve Mazure of Mazur Café & Chocolate Lab in Hackettstown. “Whether you’re a craft maker of single-origin chocolate like me or a chocolate connoisseur always on the lookout for greatness.”

Advance-purchase tickets are $20 for adults and $10 for kids ages 5-12 (no charge for those under 5). VIP tickets include a chocolate goody bag. Late-Day Special tickets, for entry after 4 pm, are $10 online for adults and kids; $15 at the door.

The Chocolate Expo: Saturday, March 9, and Sunday, March 10, 10 am-6 pm; New Jersey Convention and Exposition Center, 97 Sunfield Avenue, Edison. Tickets available on the event website and Eventbrite.

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