This past weekend I had the opportunity to be in San Francisco, California. It was my first trip ever to California so it was very exciting. As I always do when I travel, I like to embrace the local culture and people as much as possible.
One thing that is hard to miss in San Francisco are the Ghiradelli cafes. The cafe is simply the best combination of a chocolate store and ice cream bar. If you don't believe me, take a peak at their menu here. Who can't resist a sea salt caramel hot cocoa? I know I couldn't. So I decided to take a rest and enjoy some time in the chocolate store.
Not only did I have the sea salt caramel hot cocoa, which is amazing by the way, I also indulged in some Ghiradelli Rocky Road ice cream. It was quite possibly the most heavenly 30 minutes of my day. And of course I couldn't leave the story without some goodies for the road. Fortunately, they had a "buy three, get one free" deal on their chocolate bars. You just can't have enough chocolate.
But before I made it to Ghiradelli I really wanted to take a tour of a chocolate factory. I had my eyes set on a Ghiradelli factory tour but quickly found out that it has been closed for quite some time.
A suggestion from a friend led me to TCHO, the organic "new American" chocolate company, located at Pier 17. I was able to get on the 2 p.m. free factory tour.
The tour was led by a young woman who talked for nearly 40 minutes about the history of the company including how their chocolate is made. The group of about 30 watched several videos and was able to touch some of the coca beans.
The actual tour of the factory is short and if they are in production mode (which they were when I was there) it can be very loud. Nonetheless, I was able to see chocolate spewing from pipes in the ceilings all the way through to the bars being individually wrapped. Yes, that's right, they individually wrap their chocolate bars.
TCHO is about obsession--whether that's making a better world, making the best chocolate or innovating--that is their tagline. And they are unique. Just their name comes from the