Candy Making supplies?
I'm just starting to make candies at home, a total beginner. I was hoping to find a candy making supply shop somewhere in the Rockville/Gaithersburg area, but have found nothing so far. The shipping charges for pounds of chocolate are obviously going to be high, and I'd like to wander and browse for supplies such as molds, tools, etc, which is why I'd like to find something local. Can anyone recommend a local place for this?
As Chowser said, you can get large blocks of Ghirardelli at TJ's. And you can get hunks of Callebaut and some other brands at Whole Foods, possibly Balducci's too. My favorite area store for these cooking supplies is La Cuisine in Alexandria (www.lacuisineus.com). It's a small store, but everyone there is very knowledgeable and helpful. Even on my own, I always come back with several more things than I'd planned on, lol. In Wheaton there's a store called Little Bitts that has a lot of supplies ... might be more cake decorating, though, and it's very crowded (full of stuff). Crafty stores like Michael's have a lot of the Wilton supplies, too. Sur La Table and Williams-Sonoma may have some things as well, depending on what you're looking for.
Most of your large craft stores will have candy-making hardware (minus the good, heavy-duty bain marie). For the ingredients, I'm not sure where to try other than TJ's for the bulk chocolate, although I'd try calling Wegman's to see if they are carrying bulk chocolate for the holidays.
Marlene's Cake & Candy Supplies
356 S Pickett St
Alexandria, VA 22304
It's been a few years since I was there, but it was exactly what you describe wanting--aisles to browse in and a big selection of supplies. It is also next to the excellent Mediterranean Bakery which has been mentioned many times on this board.
Trader Joe's big bars of Belgian chocolate are of very good quality for the price.
Peyton's right -- Fran's is a bit of a drive, but her shop has the supplies you just won't find anywhere else near Gaithersburg or Rockville. For quality chocolate in quantities at great prices, plan a visit to Albert Uster Imports in Gaithersburg for the Des Alpes chocolate.
Albert Uster Imports, Inc.
9211 Gaither Road
Gaithersburg, MD 20877
If you've been to L'Academie de Cuisine's Gaithersburg location, this shop is essentially next door. And if you haven't been to L'Academie, then think of Albert Uster as being located behind Home Depot!
I make chocolate every holiday season. I order fillings, creams, etc. from Kitchen Kraft via their on line site.
For my chocolate, I prefer to buy the Ghiradelli chips from World Market stores. They typically run a sale on them THanksgiving weekend. The chips melt quicker than the large blocks anyway and its the same chocolate.
I plan to check Fran's out too.
And, Marlene's in Alexandria is closed.
THE LITTLE BITTS SHOP in the Wheaton area is TOPS with me!! Not only candy making products but cake decorating products. They have been in business for years and the friendly owner & staff KNOW what they are taliking about. They have printed recipes for all things sweet & homemade ;-)