Two people smiling for a selfie with snowy mountains in the background.

Our Story

In 2007, at the edge of a misty forest on the tiny Maine island of Isle au Haut, our chocolate company twinkled into exisistence. For eight years, Kate Shaffer made exquisite confections in her home kitchen, and offered them to locals and visitors from around the world at her cafe, which rested in the shade of Black Dinah Mountain (for which our company was orginally named). Organically (and some say, magically!), word of Kate's chocolates--made from things that grew in the forests and gardens of Isle au Haut--spread, and the fledgling business grew...and grew...and grew.

In 2015, Kate, Steve and their two cats, packed up the island kitchen and moved the blossoming business south, just outside of Portland, Maine.

At Ragged Coast, we make all of our confections with fresh cream and butter from local farms. We buy or trade for fresh herbs, fruits, vegetables, and edible flowers with Maine farmers and gardeners we've met along the way--at farmers' markets, on the road, in our shops, or on their farms. We use premium teas, organic, locally roasted coffee, and whole spices to flavor our confections. And we source single origin, sustainably-grown chocolates from producers in Latin America that not only make the best chocolate in the world, but also treat the growers, harvesters, and the flora and fauna on their lands with respect.

We know you can taste the difference.

Artistic Director & Founder

Kate Shaffer

Kate was chosen by Dessert Professional as a Top Ten Chocolatier in North America (2011),and is the winner of three Good Food Awards (2015, 2016, 2021).  Ragged Coast Chocolates’ unique business model, and Kate’s chocolates, have been featured in Martha Stewart Living Magazine, Gourmet Magazine, The Boston Globe, Ralph Lauren Magazine, and many other national and regional publications.

Woman stacking brownies with a joyful expression.
A cookbook titled "desserted: recipes and tales from an island chocolatier" by kate shaffer, featuring chocolate desserts on the cover.

Kate is the author of Desserted: Recipes and Tales from an Island Chocolatier (Down East Books, 2011), which was a Bronze medalist in the 2012 Independent Publisher Book Awards, a Finalist in the 2011 Foreword Indies Awards, and Food & Wine’s Top 25 Cookbooks of the Year in 2011. Kate is also the author of Chocolate for Beginners: Techniques and Recipes for Making Chocolate Candy, Confections, Cakes and More (Rockridge Press, 2019); and The Maine Farm Table Cookbook (W. W. Norton, 2021).

You can follow Kate on Instagram @katehelenshaffer

You can reach Kate at

Founder & CEO

Steve Shaffer

Steve brings his immense talents in creative problem solving and innovative thinking to the helm of Ragged Coast. Steve was the driving force behind the creation of the company’s state-of-the-art manufactory in Westbrook, ME, and oversaw the project from start to finish. A natural philosopher and entrepreneur, Steve is always percolating new ideas - whether it’s a brainstorm for a new chocolate, or a way to make our production more efficient and profitable.

You can reach Steve at

Man in a hat and green jacket looking contemplatively towards the water on a cloudy day.