Born in early 2010, Dandelion Chocolate is a bean-to-bar chocolate factory based in the Mission District of San Francisco. We make chocolate out of only two ingredients: cocoa beans and organic cane sugar. We roast, crack, sort, winnow, grind, conch, and temper small batches of beans in order to preserve the characteristics and nuanced flavors of each single origin. We source directly and travel to origin as frequently as possible to build strong relationships with our partners.
Todd Masonis (CEO and co-founder)
Todd Masonis graduated from Stanford University in 2001 with a degree in Symbolic Systems specializing in Computational Linguistics. After Stanford, Todd co-founded the internet start-up Plaxo with his friend Cameron Ring, which was sold to Comcast in 2008. After leaving the tech world, he reignited his lifelong love of chocolate through a traveling sabbatical, studying everything from the old chocolate making traditions in France to the best way to smash cocoa beans in his kitchen. Soon enough, he and Cameron founded Dandelion Chocolate, a small-batch, bean-to- bar chocolate factory in San Francisco's Mission District.
Greg D’Alesandre (VP of Research and Development/Chocolate Sourcerer)
Greg has been working with chocolate for over fifteen years, and making bean-to-bar chocolate for the last few. He started making liquid nitrogen truffles in college with “borrowed” equipment from the physics lab. As Dandelion’s Chocolate Sourcerer, he travels the world in search of the best cacao to use to make great chocolate, and feels strongly about sourcing cacao directly and building good relationships with the network of cacao producers and chocolate makers around the world.
Lisa Vega (Executive Pastry Chef)
Lisa came to Dandelion Chocolate from the Michelin-starred kitchen at Gary Danko. Previously, she worked her way through the kitchens of Bouchon Bakery, Craft LA, Providence, and Thyme Cafe & Market. Now she manages what may be the only pastry kitchen in San Francisco without cocoa powder and, since 2013 has been developing unique strategies for working with and around single origin, two-ingredient chocolate. She was born and raised in Los Angeles, studied pastry at the Culinary Institute of America in St. Helena, and grew up cooking with both her grandmothers. Lisa was recently honored with a 2016 Bay Area StarChefs Rising Stars Award.
Cameron Ring (Co-founder)
Cameron spent over a decade working as a technology architect before starting Dandelion Chocolate with Todd. His lifelong affinity for figuring out how things work has helped Dandelion to grow quickly from just a few folks in a garage into the factory it is today. In 2015, Cameron began devoting more time to another tech venture but remains the factory’s go-to mechanic when the roaster catches fire.
Dandelion continues to take on new challenges and evolve. Stay connected with the latest updates.