Oro Valley’s Sabino Artisan Chocolates offers a large selection of smooth, silky and melty temptations ranging from milk, dark and white sweetness.

With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, it’s hard to go wrong with a selection of bon bons, truffles, chocolate chipotle popcorn, fresh marshmallows, caramelized nuts, solid chocolate bars with dried fruits and nuts and a wide selection of fudge.

Specifically for Valentine’s Day, Sabino Artisan Chocolates is offering special-order chocolate-covered strawberries, and has a selection of heart-shaped edible “I Love You” boxes that are also filled with a selection of popular flavors.

Opened last March, Sabino Artisan Chocolates is owned and operated by Dianne Trinque.

When asked why she chose Oro Valley to open the new business, Trinique’s answer was simple.

“It had a grease trap,” she said. “I needed a location that was good, but it had to have the things the county would require. It was either spend the money on a grease trap, or spend money on chocolate. I went with chocolate.”

Trinque, a chemist, manages an operation that doesn’t just ship in boxes of chocolates for sale. Instead, Sabino chocolates are made on site with constant planning for upcoming holiday seasons.

On Friday, Trinque and staff were preparing for Easter already. Lines of rabbit molds were laid out while Albi Von Dach painted coats of milk chocolate into every crevice. Von Dach, an expert chocolatier from Switzerland, explained that it would be easy to just pour the chocolate into the molds, but it would create air bubbles. Instead, taking the extra step assures a higher quality product.

Trinque stressed that quality matters. The University of Arizona graduate said she has worked at various jobs throughout her life, but getting into the food industry is not a big surprise, given her family history. Her brother is a chef, and her daughter, who got a degree in creative writing, eventually became a pastry chef.

Trinque said after her daughter did a chocolate-making class in Florida, she got interested.

Soon after, Trinque said she and her husband began looking at how to become a chocolatier.

The important thing about Sabino chocolate is it has no preservatives, which means the sooner you eat them, the better.

When asked what she gets out of it, Trinque said, “It’s seeing the enjoyment people get. The reaction they have when they come in and smell them.”

While the people enjoy the smell, and the taste of the final product, many may not realize the work that goes into making them.

“Chocolate has to be tempered,” said Trinque. “It waits for no one.”

Most chocolates are made in the mornings, with Trinque and her crew making 100 chocolates on some days, and up to 800 on other days.

At the end of each day, Trinque’s well-organized operation comes down to delivering a stellar product to the chocolate-loving public.


Sabino Artisan Chocolates

Where: 10110 N. Oracle Rd.

Hours: Tuesday-Saturday 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Call in orders – 989-0466

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