TCHO: The phonetic spelling for the first syllable of “chocolate”. Where technology meets chocolate. According to the website, they are obsessed with innovation in whatever they do. And yes, there is a technology spin.
Jane Metcalfe is the President of the company. She and her husband/significant other, Louis Rossetto, co-founded Wired magazine. I had heard about this chocolate producer from M, a big fan of Wired magazine (and the pop-up store around the holidays).
When I was looking for my office on the google map, they plotted TCHO at a pier not that far down the Embarcadero (on Pier 17). It is the only chocolate factory in San Francisco. Sorry Ghiradelli fans, the chocolate must not be produced in an San Francisco factory. It is an artisan chocolate producer, that is goes even further than fair trade. They help the farmers produce better cocoa beans to become premium producers.
Here it is, right on the pier. We missed the tour by 20 minutes, so we chatted with the sales person and sampled a few at the counter.
The chocolate comes in varietals, and the flavor comes from the cocoa beans that are raised in different places across the globe. The types are fruity, nutty, and chocolately, for example. The website will show you how to “taste” chocolate: smell, look, sound (of the break), aftertaste….
Right now, it’s all dark chocolate but the very week we were there, they were producing their first batch of dark milk chocolate. Now that is up my alley. I love the creaminess of milk chocolate, I won’t deny it.
Pretty cool space, pretty cool story. I’ll admit, there is so much “artisan” chocolate out there these days, made by Brooklyn Hipsters who want to sail Cocoa beans from Africa to Brooklyn…it gets a little much. I can appreciate the desire to blend technology and chocolate (they have “beta 1.0” rounds to test types).