Two Central Maine Chocolatier's Focus On Local Food Economy

WATERVILLE, Maine (WABI) - There's a new chocolatier in Waterville putting a twist on a classic Maine candy.

"If you see our chocolates, they don't look like the chocolates you would find in general here in Maine. We use molds rather than hand-dipped chocolates so we can get the color and the shapes that really catch people's eye," said Co-Owner of Christopher Hastings Confections, Nathan Towne.

Valentine's Day may be over for this year, but you can still give your sweetie a local treat thanks to two Waterville chocolatier's.

"You know, you might get a little running down your chin because it's a softer caramel, and people love that," explained Towne.

Mark Simpson and Nathan Towne are the men behind Christopher Hastings Confections.

They're taking local candy and kicking it up a notch with their sweets made with Maine ingredients.

But, what's with the name?

"Mark's middle name is Christopher and my middle name is Hastings, and when you say them together, "Christopher Hastings Confections," it just sounded like the brand that we wanted to aspire to. Very contemporary. A modern take on a lot of Maine recipes like the Needham," said Towne.

A classic Maine candy your grandma may have made.

"We try to do as much Maine as possible, is what Nate says," said Co-Owner, Mark Simpson.

While it may look easy, Simpson says there is a whole lot of science behind it all.

"You melt the chocolate till all the crystals are gone and then you re-introduce the good crystals until it has that right snap and crunch that you want without melting in your hand," explained Simpson.

The couple sold their first batch of chocolates back in 2014.

Since then they have taken their glossy and colorful, hand-painted confections to the next level, starting with a new retail shop coming in the spring.

"The new space is going to be a lot closer to the aesthetic and brand we want to match," explained Towne. "So, it's going to be very contemporary, matching, and hopefully as beautiful as the chocolates we make."

Mark and Nate say they're on a mission to not only share their homegrown sweets, but to embrace the community overall.

"People really have an affinity and a love for Maine," said Towne. "We have a mystique, ya know in Vacationland. It's mysterious and fun. We wanted to make sure we put in a little bit of Maine into every chocolate that we made."

You can find Nate and Mark on Common Street constantly whipping up new creations.

For more information on Christopher Hastings Confections visit: