Dandelion Chocolate opens factory and café

Dandelion Chocolate has expanded production to a space in San Francisco with room for manufacturing, retail and education.

The factory’s ‘custom-built machines’ will be capable of producing up to 1.5m bars annually which is located less than a mile away in the city’s renowned Mission District.

An optical sorter will add machine learning to the chocolate-making process, while a gravity separator will remove rocks. Dandelion also installed a bright yellow, 70-kilo Diedrich cocoa roaster, a Techno-choc tempering line to meld two-ingredient chocolate bars, and a cablevey system to transport beans from ‘the bean room’ directly to the roaster.

“It’s probably the most interesting time for chocolate in the last 150 years,” said co-founder Todd Masonis. “When we started, there were a handful of small chocolate makers in the US and now there are over 200.”

Dandelion will offer daily tours as well as educational classes covering the fundamentals of chocolate to specific ingredients, sourcing and process. In addition, the company has hired pastry chef Lisa Vega, a veteran of tasting-menu restaurant Gary Danko and Thomas Keller’s Bouchon Baker, to lead the dessert-centric kitchen.

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