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Aug 27, 2008 06:38 PM

Tcho Chocolate

Has anyone been to Tcho Chocolate? Can you see the chocolates being made? I heard it's the only chcolate factory in SF.

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    1. re: hhc

      I got an email from DailyCandy SF and it said the store is Open!

      "The only SF-based chocolate factory, TCHO (which stands for technology and chocolate) combines innovation with a pure and simple recipe for the proprietary bars, now available in a petite outlet adjacent to its waterfront operation.

      The goods come in four flavors: chocolaty, citrus, fruity, and nutty ($5 each). Pair your purchase with a cup of joe from Blue Bottle Coffee, and check back next year for floral and earthy — two new tastes undergoing development.

      Come mid- to late-November, the store will offer chocolate-covered macadamia nuts and gift collections for the holidays."

      TCHO Beta Store, Pier 17, The Embarcadero, at Green Street (415-981-0189 extension 640 or

      17 San Pier, Francisco, CA

      1. re: hhc

        Thanks for the heads up. Can I say, though, just how much their "only SF-based" schtick annoys me? They may be the only chocolate made in the city limits at the moment, but there are three bean-to-bar chocolate makers in the Bay Area: Scharffen-Berger in Berkeley; Guittard in Burlingame and Ghirardelli in San Leandro. Furthermore, all three of those started making chocolate in San Francisco proper, so there's a long history of chocolate making in the City.

        In other words, I think they're making a big deal of making it sound like they're doing something unique, when in fact they're just the latest in a long tradition of San Francisco chocolate makers. Their website is impossibly pretentious, too:

        All of that said, as far as I'm concerned their chocolate will stand or fall on its own merits. If I can learn to put up with Fog City News, I can learn to put up with any kind of snobbery in pursuit of good chocolate.

        1. re: Ruth Lafler

          Let's not for Charles Chocolates!

          I agree with you... its fine to make chocolate, but don't make it sound like you're the first or only chocolate maker in SF.

          1. re: chemchef

            I don't think Charles does bean-to-bar, though, which is what they were talking about (not to mention they're in Emeryville these days). There are other chocolatiers in San Francisco, but that's not the same thing.

            1. re: Ruth Lafler

              Not sure about the bean to bar statement, but you included the Bay Area and Scharffenberger, so that's the only reason why I brought up Charles.

              1. re: chemchef

                I listed Scharffen-Berger because it's bean-to-bar. There's a big difference between "chocolate makers" who make chocolate from cacao beans and "chocolatiers" who make confections using chocolate they purchase from chocolate makers and then blend/flavor/repackage. There are very few actual chocolate makers in the U.S. -- most of the artisan chocolates, even in bar form, are made by chocolatiers.

                1. re: Ruth Lafler

                  I'm aware of the difference... I was just saying...

                  1. re: chemchef

                    And I'm just saying that I don't understand what me mentioning Scharffen-Berger has to to do with Charles Chocolates in a discussion of bean-to-bar chocolate makers. If we're going to mention all the chocolatiers in the Bay Area it's going to be a very long list.

          2. re: Ruth Lafler

            I agree about their pretentiousness and in many aspects, but I loved one of the two samples I tried a couple of months ago from a ferry-riding friend who got the samples at The Gap. The "chocolaty" sample was the great one to me; like Scharffenberger but more accessible flavor. The "fruity" sample was just OK. Note that these were samples of a work-in-progress. I'm eager to try the finished product.

            1. re: Mick Ruthven

              I'd also point out that their bars are only 20g each. That puts them around $115 a pound, making it the most expensive chocolate I've ever seen. I tried their beta "fruity", and it was okay, but not worth 3-4x what I usually pay for artisan chocolate.

              1. re: BrianJC

                Actually the beta bars are $5 for 50g. That would put it at ~$45/lb.

                1. re: cashtexas

                  I tossed the bag many months ago, so I probably remembered wrong. At glance at their website shows they've upped the bar size to 60g, too. That put's them only around 30-40% more than brands like Valrhona or Sharffen Berger.

      2. I sampled some of their chocolates at Oracle World. I think the owners had something to do with the magazine Wired. Their marketing focus seems to be corporate gift boxes.

        They named their varieties after the primary flavor component. Fruity reminded me of Scharffenberger. Nutty wasn't and the other techie tasters there at the same time agreed. I still prefer Dagoba, but was impressed enough to take their card meaning to give it to my candy store proprietress friend.