Our Story

J. Emanuel Chocolatier was founded in 1997 when Jonathan Emanuel Dambrot and his mother opened the doors in the Chester, NJ location with little more than a killer recipe for Almond Butter Crunch and the dream of carrying on the legacy of Jonathan’s grandfather.  A pioneer in the industry, Hans Goldschneider sold his famous hand-made truffles out of his shop on Lexington Ave. in NYC during the 1970’s. 

At the time, Tad Van Leer was still just a salesman for an industrial chocolate company founded by his own grandfather in 1949, Van Leer Chocolate.  As part of his job, Tad would regularly make bulk chocolate deliveries to Mr. Goldschneider’s NYC shop.  During these visits, Mr. Goldschneider passed on to Tad a great deal of his truffle-making expertise.  These visits would instill in Tad a lifelong passion for artisan candy-making. 

Almost a quarter of a century later, after selling Van Leer Chocolate to Barry Callebaut, Tad would finally get his chance to live out the dream of his youth.  In 2004, he purchased J. Emanuel Chocolatier from the Dambrots and added a brand new line of traditionally-flavored and wine-infused truffles to the Classic Chester Crunch, barks and other confections that had become J. Emanuel Chocolatier mainstays. 

In 2012 Tad sold J. Emanuel Chocolatier business and all it’s recipes to entrepreneur Michael Canzano of Basking Ridge, NJ. Michael brought to the table his knowledge of computer systems and his love for cooking using all natural ingredients. Michael went through intensive training with Tad and the use of online education to come up with his own style of creating new unique flavors. 

Over the last several years, we have continued to provide the residents of Chester, Morris County and Northern New Jersey with unique, high-quality and delicious confections.  At the same time, we have been fortunate enough to have our products recognized by press outlets both local and national.

As a local artisan chocolatier with a national reputation, we are able to offer our customers a wide array of truly unique, world-class gift options, and a degree of customization that is unrivalled by our larger competitors.  We work with our customers to ensure that each and every gift that leaves our shop is truly one-of-a-kind.