Ameema Ahmed

Beware. There’s a good chance these words will leave you craving chocolate. But not the leftover chocolate in your children’s stockings. The good stuff. The stuff you’ll find at Pralines of Prescott, a local favorite that was founded in 1991 and quickly became a staple in the state’s mile-high city.

“Over the years, we have expanded and changed a little bit, but we try to keep our small-town atmosphere, and it’s going strong,” says Dee Ocampo, the shop’s manager.

Ocampo is the niece of the current owners, Diane (pictured) and Sean Babb, who bought the shop in 2017. The couple moved to Prescott from Las Vegas in search of a hometown-like environment in which to raise their twin boys. “When they came down here, they had no idea they’d be looking for a chocolate shop,” Ocampo says. “But they found a passion in it and ended up loving what they were doing.” 

The shop offers handmade chocolates, fudge, pastries, gelato, espresso and, of course, pralines, which come in four flavors: coconut, pecan, milk chocolate and dark chocolate. While new items have been added, the Babbs have made it a priority to keep some of the original shop items to allow people to enjoy the treats they grew up with. “People come in all the time and say, ‘This was my childhood chocolate shop’ and ‘This is where my family went every Christmas,’ ” Ocampo says. 

Some of the most popular items are the Victorian toffee, truffles and fudge. They’re labor intensive, but Ocampo says everything the staff makes is a labor of love. “It’s literally like love goes into it — we are caring from the first step to the last step,” she says. “It really takes more than people think to create that first bite they take.” 

It also takes time. Ocampo says a batch of 100 buttercreams, which are similar to small truffles, can take a few hours to make. 

“Rodeos” are another customer favorite. Made of chocolate, nuts and caramel, the treats are similar to what people know as turtles, but Ocampo describes them as “Prescott-sized” — in other words, bigger.

Most of the bakery and chocolate items are made on-site, but other items are sourced from Arizona businesses, such as Firehouse Coffee Roasters and Villa Dolce Gelato. “We appreciate local business so much,” Ocampo says. “The best part is the support from the whole town, regardless of new owners taking over. It’s beautiful to see how much people care about small businesses here.”

Longtime customer Natelle Huntzinger discovered Pralines of Prescott when the previous owners made her wedding favors in 2007. She says she’s always greeted with a smile when she walks in. “As a local, the fact that employees always greet us by name is over-the-top customer service,” she says. 

The customer service and small-town atmosphere are big draws for Huntzinger and her husband, and the decadent treats always pull them back. “The chocolate is some of the best we’ve had from all over the world,” she says. “And on a cold day, the ‘secret recipe’ hot chocolate drink is amazing.” 

Currently, six people run the chocolate shop, from doing front-end work to making the confections. Ocampo says everyone has their hands in each part and that their mission is to bring people joy. “We have a little bit of everything for everybody — every recipe is inspired by an idea that comes up in the middle of the night or an idea that comes from our customers,” she says. “Come in and try the chocolate. You will see how different it is when you have good, handmade, quality chocolate.”

Business Information

Pralines of Prescott
112 W. Gurley Street
Prescott, AZ
United States