We are so blessed to live in Maine, and not just because of the warm, sunny summers and the picturesque white winters, but because Maine is home to a large number of talented crafts people and artisans like weavers, potters, soap makers, chocolatiers, woodworkers, and jewelers. In every shop in every town, you’ll see incredibly-crafted, unique Maine-made products.
Since many of our couples wish to surprise their wedding guests with welcome bags and/or favors of authentic Maine made products, we wanted to highlight some of our favorite Maine made gifts in this blog series. Of course, many of these handcrafted items would make wonderful bridesmaid or groomsmen gifts as well as gifts for parents of the wedding couple. For guests looking for a unique and meaningful gift for the lovebirds, you will find gift inspiration in this series, too.
How did the business start and who are the owners?
Wilbur’s of Maine Chocolate Confections began in 1983 when Tom Wilbur and Catherine Carty-Wilbur opened a small candy shop on Bow St. in Freeport, Maine. Tom and Catherine were both school teachers at the time and were just looking to supplement their income; selling chocolates and candies made by other companies in their store. It was a few years later that they decided to try making chocolates themselves and secured their first wholesale customer: L.L.Bean. We now have three retail locations, a chocolate factory in Freeport and as of 2016 Andy Wilbur, Tom and Catherine’s son, is the new owner of Wilbur’s of Maine.
Describe the products you sell (including how they’re made, if applicable).
So many products to describe! We make homemade caramels, creams, melt away truffles, needhams, buttercrunch toffee, turtles, marshmallow, fudge, hot fudge sauce, brittle, peanut butter cups, traditional truffles, chocolate dipped cherries, solid chocolate that is molded into just about any shape you can imagine (sea shells, lobsters, bunnies, fish, Santas, shamrocks, pigs, hockey pucks….) we could go on! We can’t forget, of course, our panned chocolates. We are one of very few factories in New England producing panned chocolates, they are the largest part of our wholesale business and include amazing items like chocolate covered blueberries, chocolate covered cranberries, malt balls, chocolate covered almonds, pretzel bites, and many, many more! We produce 100’s of different chocolates and confections.
How are these items made? Well, there are far too many items to explain in detail, but we do try to use local ingredients whenever possible, each item is made with care and by hand in small batches. Also, everything we make is done in our Freeport factory at 174 Lower Main St. in Freeport. There are viewing windows into the factory at all times and we offer tours on select days and times. Best to consult our website or Facebook page for that current month’s event/tour dates.
Who typically enjoys your products?
Anyone and everyone! Chocolate knows no bounds! It brings generations together and is the perfect gift. We have products that are made with 72% dark chocolate and other not-too-sweet items like dark chocolate covered ginger and dark chocolate covered orange peel so even if you think you don’t have a sweet tooth, you’re likely to find something here you will enjoy!
What’s the best way to purchase them?
Our website wilburs.com is being updated weekly with more and more products being added and is the perfect way to have our fine confections shipped all over the country to yourself or a loved one! If you are lucky enough to be in southern Maine visit us at one of our three locations:
174 Lower Main St. Freeport, ME 04032 (factory and retail store)
13 Bow St. Freeport, ME 04032 (retail)
143 Maine St. Brunswick, ME 04011 (retail)
What’s your favorite thing about Maine?
It’s hard to answer this question without sounding too cliché, but if we’re being honest it’s for two reasons: first, because the people here are relatable through all walks of life. Second is the available outdoor space. As we mentioned above we try to source a lot of our ingredients locally and that is made possible in part because of our suppliers have access to this resources of this great state of ours. Our sea salt comes from a company in Marshfield, Maine and is captured from the ocean’s water using Solar power and our vanilla is made in Portland, Maine.
Owner(s) Name: Andy Wilbur
Business Name: Wilbur’s of Maine Chocolate Confections
Address: 174 Lower Main St.
City/State/Zip: Freeport, ME 04032
Email: (general questions) [email protected]
Facebook: Wilbur’s of Maine Chocolate Confections https://www.facebook.com/WilbursofMaineChocolateConfections/
Pinterest: Wilbur’s of Maine Chocolate Confections https://www.pinterest.com/wilbursofmaine
Instagram: Wilbur’s of Maine https://www.instagram.com/wilbursofmaine/