Earlier this year, when we traveled back to New York for a little bit of work and a little bit of play, we were met by a couple lovely gifts from our host, Erica. Among them, a cute little box of chocolate covered caramels from a previous unknown to us confectioner—New Paltz, New York’s Lagusta’s Luscious.

In addition to being fully vegan, Lagusta’s Luscious takes things the extra mile, pulling in social justice themes in a playful way and sourcing many of their ingredients locally. From their Web site:

“We work closely with small farmers and producers in our beloved town of New Paltz, New York and across the country to source everything from our Maui vanilla beans (from a tiny two-acre vanilla farm) to the candy-striped beets (our beet-coriander truffle will win you over, we promise!) grown by Farmer Jessica less than a mile away.”

Their Bluestocking Bonbon line also celebrates feminist luminaries with Raspberries de Pizan, Pauline Benjamin Peanut Butter Cups (named after the owner’s mother), and Furious Vulvas, shaped—yes—like a vulva.

“But how do these chocolates—vulva-shaped or not—taste,” you ask! I respond with “Fucking awesome, dude. Why else would I be writing about them?”

The quality of the dark chocolate and creamy richness of the caramels that we had ranked among the best we’ve ever tasted. And the complimentary tastes Lagusta’s chose to set those flavors off—in our case, rosemary sea salt, apple + candied pecan, and thyme preserved lemon—were distinctively awesome, giving each caramel a personality of its own. A personality we wanted to devour.

Lagusta’s operates as a small brick-and-mortor upstate, offering chocolates, fresh pastries, doughnuts from The Darling Kitchen, and coffee and the like. They also ship their sweets across the country, including barks (like the Strawberries and Cream Bark), bars (like the Four Grain Bourbon Caramel Chile Bar), caramels + toffee (like the Heathen Toffee), and a lot more, including chocolate of the month clubs. Plus their packaging (as you can see below) is über-cute.

So get ordering and support both your own personal endorphin production and an animal-friendly, people-friendly, everything-friendly small business.

PS—Erica, we’ll be back in December.

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