From the Bay to the Blue Ridge, National Harbor

What’s Hot in the Harbor!

SPAGnVOLA Chocolatier
181 Waterfront Street

“Our chocolates are a piece of our land; you don’t eat it, you ‘experience’ it and your soul becomes part of our land.” – Crisoire Reid, Head Chocolatier



Where They Came From:
Pronounced as spang-vola, the name is derived from a 16th century voyage map of the island of Hispaniola – now the Dominican Republic and Haiti. Owners Eric Reid and his wife, Crisoire (who happens to be the head chocolatier), have brought the cacao beans that they cultivate on their estate in Hato Mayor Del Rey in the Republic to National Harbor via their artisan Truffles Factory located up the beltway in Gaithersburg, Maryland.

How They Got Here:
Eric told me that they were looking to expand from their original boutique and factory location in the Kentlands area near Gaithersburg and the Harbor seemed to be a good fit. Having only been open since just before the holiday season with Senior Partner and General Manager, Takiya Thomas, here at the Harbor store, they have made an elegant imprint at their newest location.

What They Do:
They make and sell what I consider “over the top” chocolate bars, bon bons, truffles and hot cocoa in a very swanky setting. They say that a picture is worth a thousand words – take a look at the ones accompanying this profile! I can attest to the delicious hot cocoa and the chocolates I have sampled myself. They also come very highly recommended by my brother-in-law, Dave from Wyoming, who received a sampling from me for Christmas! They also have authentic Italian Gelato in the store and they offer factory tours and chocolate making classes with Crisoire. Check out the website/blog for details on these.

How They Do It:
They refine their estate grown cocoa beans, pair them with traditional Caribbean artisan blends and roast them in small batches, which inevitably brings out the exquisite flavor of every thing chocolate that they produce. The process that Crisoire goes through to create these beautiful chocolates comes straight from her heart. I doubt you will find any other chocolatier who can say that they make their products from beans they grow themselves!

Please do yourselves a favor and stop in at SPAGnVOLA on your next trip to National Harbor! Be sure to tell them that Lani from the Old Town Crier sent you! Not saying Whitman’s doesn’t make good chocolate but you may score huge points with a Valentine Box full of these!


Written by: Lani Gering

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