A First Look at Dandelion Chocolate

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The interior at Dandelion Chocolate. Photo: Dana Massey-Todd. © tablehopper.com.

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The bean roaster. Photo: Dana Massey-Todd. © tablehopper.com.

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The final product! Photo: Dana Massey-Todd. © tablehopper.com.

A report by Dana Massey-Todd: Another project along the Valencia corridor is getting ready to open on Wednesday November 14th. As previously reported on tablehopper, the newest addition, ~DANDELION CHOCOLATE~, is taking the third remaining space at 740 Valencia, alongside Abbot’s Cellar and Craftsman and Wolves.

The project comes from partners Todd Masonis and Cameron Ring (with the help of Alice Nystrom), and is not only a retail outpost for their bean-to-bar chocolate, but also functions as their factory. Visitors will be able to tour the factory and observe the entire process of chocolate-making, from the bean to the final wrapping. They roast, crack, sort, winnow, grind, conche, and temper the chocolate on site, and then mold it into bars and wrap it in beautiful packaging.

For now, they will just be operating the factory and selling chocolate bars out of the retail area, but there’s more to come. Soon, they’ll have a café up and running, with hot chocolate drinks, some chocolaty pastries, and other offerings. The final menu hasn’t been finalized yet, but they want to keep it focused on chocolate. As Masonis pointed out, they are right next to Craftsman and Wolves, and within walking distance of Tartine and Ritual Coffee. Rather than compete with these businesses, they’ll stick with what they know best: all things chocolate.

As they get going, they’ll also be participating in some exclusive collaborations, like Dandelion Chocolate-covered confections from Kika’s Treats, which will be available exclusively at their retail location.

The space, like its neighbors, features ever-so-high ceilings and lovely natural light. They haven’t attempted to hide the fact that this is a factory; rather, they’ve embraced the natural beauty of their equipment and made it a focal point. The lighting is all very vintage industrial, and the space is spare. There is some handsome wooden shelving and nice long tables, and most of the signage is either repurposed cocoa bean bags or chalkboards. Check back for more updates as the café gets closer to opening. For now, hours are Wed-Fri 12pm-4pm and Sat 11am-6pm. 740 Valencia St. at 18th St., 415-349-0942.