Since Steve and Kate Shaffer launched Black Dinah Chocolatiers from Isle au Haut in 2007, their hand-crafted truffles and gourmet confections have earned a raft of national awards for their flavor and artistry, as well as their sustainable and socially-responsible sourcing.

The company, named for a rocky outcropping near their island home, has been featured in magazines like "Martha Stewart Living and Gourmet." Kate Shaffer has been named one of the nation’s top chocolatiers.

The idea of making gourmet truffles on a wind-swept island off the coast of Maine was just random enough to be appealing in 2007, when Kate started studying chocolate. The idea of opening a funky, slightly urbane café in which to sell them at the edge of a quiet island forest was even more random—and therefore even more appealing. With Steve’s talent at business and creative problem solving and Kate’s gift with food and presentation, it sounded like just the business for them.

Two decades in kitchens from California to Maine has taught Kate lots about food and farms and the power of locally supported agriculture and small business. Mostly it’s taught her that things just taste better when they’re fresher....and Steve has learned that he’s happiest working and thinking in smaller communities.

In June of 2015, the Shaffers moved chocolate production from a 500-square-foot barn on Isle au Haut into a 4,255-square-foot space in Westbrook. While still connected to Isle au Haut, the move to Westbrook has brought 'Black Dinah' truffles, and other goodies, right to the doorstep of greater Portland.  

So “close your eyes, take a bite, and share a taste that’s sweet as Maine.”