Food, Made in the 805, Shopping, Ventura County

Made in the 805: Ex Voto Chocolates and Confections

Visitors to Ex Voto Chocolates and Confections always have the same thing to say: Every piece of chocolate not only tastes delicious, they are a work of art.

That’s because chocolatiers Jennifer Smith and Sophia Smith-Grunder have set a certain standard for every single thing they make in their shop on Main Street in Ventura.

First, they handcraft each bonbon fresh every day, and only use fine quality chocolate (from a single origin that is fair trade certified).

They make sure to only use quality ingredients, such as fresh juices and fruit purees, to flavor their creations. Nut butters are made from scratch and finished with caramelized sugar and a touch of sea salt.

The bonbons are individually hand-painted with colored cocoa butter.

Photo by Ex Voto Chocolates and Confections


“Our desire is to intrigue and delight our customers with the passion and devotion that we have for turning our chocolate into delicious works of art,” they said.

Since “ex-voto” actually means an offering to a saint or divinity in fulfillment of a vow, it’s no wonder that many feel thankful.

“When I come to Ex Voto, I resolve that I’m going to be eating art…Seriously, this isn’t your average chocolate shop. This place is special,” said Monique M. on Yelp.

Chocolates change with the season and holiday, but some of the latest offerings have included Hazelnut Gianduja, Banana’s Foster, Vietnamese Coffee,  and Macadamia Coconut Cup with Red Sea Salt.

Chocolates can be bought individually or wrapped in a pretty gift box. (The bonbons are a bit pricier than what you find in a typical candy shop, but you’re getting higher quality and a personal touch here.)

Ex Voto also have freshly house-made ice cream in scrumptious flavors, such as dark chocolate cookies and cream, fresh mint and chip, Thai tea, Tahitian vanilla, and roasted bananas and honeycomb.

Photo by Ex Voto Chocolates and Confections

Chocolate cupcakes and Italian olive oil cake are some of the desserts baked daily in-house. Coffee, tea, and espresso drinks are also made in the shop.

Ex Voto Chocolates and Confections, 2646 E. Main St., is open 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday;

–Michele Willer-Allred

*Made in the 805″ is a regular feature focusing on products made (and grown) in the 805.