I am visiting from the east coast, and need to buy bulk chocolate for my family's favorite candy, rocky road. I tried Trader Joe's, but they only carry Belgian bittersweet with almonds in it, unlike my local store in New Jersey, which carries it plain.
I am off to Ghirardelli Outlet in San Leandro, but frankly, they aren't my favorite (too much of a dark roast edge). Any comments on Rainbow Grocery? Also, are the prices good at Spun Sugar in Berkeley? I'd prefer shopping in the East Bay. And it doesn't have to be Valrhona or Scharffen Berger.
Thanks to all.
re: Robert Lauriston
Well, I just got an 11 pound box of Guittard bittersweet wafers for $53, which is under $5 per pound. Seems a good price to me. Their sincle pounds were $8, compared to over $11 at Sur Le Table for the same thing.
Plus, the man who helped me was very informative and helpful...
In the past, Spun Sugar could also order bulk chocolate for you with advance notice. You could choose from various brands and I don't remember them mentioning any markup to me.
Whole Foods in Oakland sells pre-measured chocolate pieces, by the pound. I'm pretty sure they carry Callebaut and relatively sure they carrry El Rey. Can't remember the pricing, but experience says that most likely, they're expensive. Spun sugar has a very good selection of Callebaut and Guittards--which along with El Rey milk and white, are the chocolates I prefer to use.
Rockridge Market Hall also carries pre-wrapped chocolate by the pound but that's sure to be very expensive.
Ghiradelli's in San Leandro only has the wrapped stuff they sell in retail outlets, no bulk. I've bought some good quality bulk chocolate at the Pasta Shop in Berkeley (not the one at the Rockridge mall). It's at:
1786 4th Street
Berkeley, CA 94070
If you go to Ghiradelli look for the unlabeled bittersweet bars they sometimes sell at a good price. I also agree on Berkeley Bowl for Guittard in bulk or Whole Foods for El Rey.