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Aug 13, 2011

State of the Union

We’re out on Bartlett every Thursday night at the Mission Community Market. It’s been a fantastic way to meet customers in the factory’s neighborhood. We’re really looking forward to the day when we have our doors open in the Mission! Every Thursday night we get a few of the same questions. I thought I’d take a minute to give you all an update.

The most common question, and the one we’re most eager to answer ourselves: when will the factory be open? You may remember, we put our 312 notice up in the window of 740 Valencia Street a few months ago. Thankfully, that process is complete, and we’re working on the next series of permits we need to open our space. We found out a week or so ago that we’ve received the Change of Use permit for the building. Now our landlord’s waiting on some building permits before he can start the initial construction. A short time after that, we should be able to start our construction. Fingers crossed!

We also have exciting news about our packaging. A few months ago, we hired two incredibly talented graphic designers, and we’re working toward a new iteration of our packaging. We get a lot of compliments on our current version, but we think we can take it up a notch. There are things we love about what we have now, especially the overall aesthetic and the color scheme. But, the first designs we’ve seen from our graphic designers have blown us away. As soon as we have things ready, we’ll give you a peek.

Things are also busy on the wholesale front and we’re keeping extremely busy making chocolate. We always say that it’s a great problem to have, but we can’t seem to make bars fast enough these days. You can pick up or try a bar at Chocolate Covered, Fog City News, Mission Cheese, The Chocolate Garage, and Serendipity. We’ve heard that our Madagascar bars seem to be the most popular in lots of these shops.

Also, we’re making great headway on sourcing our next set of beans. As I write, I’m sitting in front of a roaster testing out some new Ecuadorian beans. It smells a little like chocolate poptarts in the room as the beans roast, and I’m excited to taste our first batch from this sample! In the next few months, we should have a few new bars to add to our lineup.

Finally, like most summers, we’ve all been busy traveling. Cam just got back from the muggy east coast. In a few days, Todd and Cam are both taking heading off to Vermont and then Hawaii for friends’ weddings, and I’ll be in Texas later this month. While Todd and Cam are in Hawaii they’re hoping to meet Seneca of Koka Chocolate. Seneca is one of the founders of Bittersweet Cafe in San Francisco and Oakland. Now he’s growing cacao and making chocolate on Oahu. While they’re gone, I get to take care of Cam’s very snuggly dog, Tatsu.


That’s all for now, back to making chocolate!


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