Most chocolate companies begin from humble beginnings, and Dandelion Chocolate is no exception to the rule. In the early part of 2010, co-owners and founders Todd Masonis and Cameron Ring began their foray into dark chocolate. Inevitably, their adventures into the world of chocolate would take them from growing small cacao plants and pan roasting beans in their apartment to operating a small factory in the Mission District of San Francisco, U.S.A.
Today Dandelion Chocolate produces its brand of premium dark chocolate, with the mindset that great chocolate starts with the bean. Unlike other traditionally large companies, Dandelion Chocolate maintains its commitment to making great dark chocolate by using only two ingredients; (70%) cacao beans and (30%) cane sugar. Dandelion Chocolate insists that getting the right flavors from a cacao bean relies not just on the cacao beans themselves but more towards building the right relationships with farmers. Club ChoKolate visited the Dandelion Chocolate factory in 2016, and notwithstanding the delicious dark chocolate being produced there, we were impressed that they were more than willing to introduce us to the source of their chocolates.
Dandelion Chocolate considers themselves a legitimate bean-to-bar company, just one of many in what people think the New American Chocolate movement. Working directly with farmers, cacao beans for their dark chocolate bars are sourced from locations including San Francisco, Belize, Madagascar, Ecuador, Guatemala, Venezuela, Tanzania and the Dominican Republic.
Their method is simple; they allow the farmers to begin the process from the retrieval of the cacao beans through fermentation in large wooden boxes. Then, dried and shipped, a small taste test follows to determine the best flavor profile. Once discovered, a thorough sorting process occurs before a long slow roasting method of only ten pounds at a time in a modified coffee roaster. After the roasting, the shells are removed and the nibs ground together with the sugar for three days. The final stage includes tempering and setting the dark chocolate into molds for cooling.
Dandelion Chocolate then wraps their dark chocolate bars in foil by hand, encasing them into specific hand-made wrapping papers designed and made in India using a distinctive machine.
Dandelion Chocolate’s unique mastery over their two-ingredient product has garnered them numerous accolades including USA Today’s view that “Here, the focus is on quality, not quantity.” We invite you to try our Dandelion Chocolate collection and tell us which dark chocolate is your favorite!
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