If red “heart” boxes of stale chocolates aren’t your Valentine’s style, Laguna Beach’s Chocolate Soldier is for you. Squeezed into the little alley between the Sapphire Restaurant and Tootsie’s/Laguna Beach Books at the old Pottery Shack, Chocolate Soldier will have you feeling happily light-headed the moment you walk in the door.

This is De Francis’ second Chocolate Soldier store, and business has been sweet since she opened in Laguna Beach in December 2006. Gorgeous glass cases are filled to the brim with handmade chocolates, nut clusters, and truffles, and this time of year, everything’s coming up hearts.

Take it from one who knows – there is NOTHING like this dear woman’s chocolates. Buy a couple chocolate pieces, or let her walk you through the various gourmet chocolate boxes she loads with popular top sellers.

For you MapQuesters, Laguna Beach’s Chocolate Soldier is at 1200 S. Coast Highway. There’s metered parking all around the block, or underground parking for the Pottery Shack complex off of Brooks Street as you turn from PCH. Ask De for a token after your chocolate purchase.

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