Archive for the ‘Product: Chocolate’ Category

New – Chocolate Covered Hazelnuts from Taza Chocolate!

OMG, just got the new Chocolate Covered Hazelnuts from Taza Chocolate – they are amazing! Organic hazelnuts roasted until they’re golden and crunchy, then covered with a rich layer of stone ground Taza Chocolate.  Wholesale customers – if you’d like to try the new hazelnuts, just let me know.



10% off Taza Chocolate in February – wholesale customers only

TAZA CHOCOLATE:  up to 10% off

Order $300, get $30 off
Order $500, get $50 off
Order $750, get $75 off
Order $1000, get $100 off

Order Taza Chocolate, and mention “California Girl Foods 10% promotion” in the special instructions box to get your discount: Contact me with any questions or if you need help placing an order!

Madecasse – Fast Company’s 50 Most Innovative Companies

Madecasse has been featured as one of Fast Company’s 50 Most Innovative Companies:

Here’s why:

-Madecasse is one of the only companies to make chocolate in Africa (the packaging is made there, and their entire chocolate factory is there) – by doing this, the chocolate growers in Madagascar earn over 4 times as much income per chocolate bar than if they just sold the cacao beans to an American company that would process the beans in

For each chocolate bar, the cost of the cacao beans only accounts for about 17% of the total cost – the rest of the costs involve the cost of the packaging, and the labor required to produce chocolate bars from the cacao beans.

In addition to amazing chocolate bars (both eating and baking bars), Madecasse offers an array of vanilla products which are competitive in price and superior in quality to the current vanilla offerings out there. (vanilla beans, vanilla extract, vanilla powder, vanilla sugar)

Congrats to Brett and Tim from Madecasse!

WHOLESALE CUSTOMERS: Order Madecasse here –

Poco Dolce chocolate bars – total win!

Congrats to Kathy Wiley at Poco Dolce and her team – I just tried her new chocolate bars (I had the Olive Sea Salt and the Sea Salt bar) and they’re phenomenal.  View all the flavors here:

The chocolate bar category is super crowded – what I LOVE about these is the texture – they melt in your mouth and aren’t chalky and hard like many chocolate bars.

Guide to Fancy Food Show – San Francisco (January 16-18, 2011)

Happy New Year! For folks in the food industry, there is no rest for the weary. Right after the holidays, myself and tens of thousands of others kick into gear to attend/exhibit/meet at the Fancy Food Show in San Francisco (Moscone Center), then run the race against time to get ready for Valentine’s Day.

January 2011’s Fancy Food Show in San Francisco will be my 11th show; I’ve been attending since 2005, both as a manufacturer exhibiting at the show, as well as an attendee.

The show is fun, exhilarating, overwhelming, inspiring and delicious – all at once. Here are my tips for attending the show, and getting the most out of it.


1) View the Show Exhibitor List, research the companies ahead of time, and decide which booths you want to visit. After the first day, evaluate how far you’ve gotten in terms of visiting all of those companies. If it’s not realistic to visit all of them based on how quickly you’re going, prioritize.

2) If there are companies you want to talk to, email or call them beforehand to see if you can set up a meeting with them. Lots of people arrange to meet during the show, before or after show hours, or the day or two before and after the show.


1) Make sure to wear comfortable shoes, or your feet will REALLY hurt after walking all day!

2) If possible, attend Monday or Tuesday. Sunday is the busiest day of the show since it’s the first day and it’s a weekend day. If you can make it on Monday or Tuesday, the show floor will be less crowded, and exhibitors will have a bit more time to talk.


1) Know Your Pitch. If you have particular goals in mind, make sure you know your pitch. The show is super busy, and if you ramble people will shut you down and ask you to contact them after the show. Remember that the show is an opportunity to generate leads and identify opportunities – follow up on details should occur after the show, unless you have a meeting with someone.

2) Read Badges: The attendee badges are color coded: exhibitor, manufacturer, importer/exporter, broker, and more. Scan people’s badges by color to see what role they are, and also see what company they work for. If you’ve been in the food business for a while, you may read a badge and realize it’s someone you’ve been working with by phone or email for a while!

3) Be Polite:  Manning a booth at the Fancy Food Show is exhausting and overwhelming, so be polite and respectful to the exhibitors. It pays to be nice to people – you’ll get much better results.

4) Don’t Take Paper: if you took a brochure from all the exhibitors you’re interested in, you’ll be laden down with paper. Instead, have people scan your badge and email you after the show, or grab a business card or postcard.

5) You can tell at a glance which booths are likely to be of interest to you – try to quickly scan before actually approaching a booth.

6) International: unless you’re looking for international products, many of the international booths don’t have samples.


1) New Producer Section: Fancy Food Show started a few years back a section which features small producers who are Member Candidates of the NASFT (organization which produces the Fancy Food Show). As a pioneering food broker who looks for new emerging brands, this is the most exciting part of the show for me. This is because I like to see new products and identify emerging trends, and also because these are usually the MOST enthusiastic people. It’s their first show, and they’re really excited to get tons of feedback on their products all over 3 days.

2) Two of my clients, Madecasse (booth 483B) and Teance Fine Teas (booth 483A) will be exhibiting. Madecasse offers vanilla and chocolate from Madagascar, and Teance imports a variety of high quality Asian teas (both prepackaged and bulk). Of course, lots of amazing samples!

3) Taza Chocolate will be featured in the Cheeseworks booth (4829), and Owens Creek Company will be featured in the California Olive Oil Council booth (208).



1) Don’t eat everything you see in the first aisle; there are over 1200 booths that all have samples, so you’ll want to pace yourself.

2) The show is full of chocolate, candy, cheese, jam, and many other snacks. You may want to stop for a real lunch, if sugar tends to make your system feel unbalanced. Unfortunately the food available for purchase at the show leaves much to be desired. I wish food trucks could park in front of Moscone! Two places that aren’t too far (walking): Thirsty Bear (Spanish tapas) and Samovar Tea Lounge (great tea lounge with nice food).

Madecasse Vanilla featured in New York Times!

Florence Fabricant has just featured the Madecasse Baking Set in the New York Times!

For holiday baking, Madecasse vanilla is amazing, and there’s an array of products: vanilla extract, vanilla beans, vanilla powder, and vanilla sugar.

You may be wondering what’s the difference – isn’t most vanilla the same?

There is a wide range in vanilla quality – Madecasse vanilla extract is made to European standards (so no added corn syrup or sugar like most American vanilla extracts). Also, is has 40% alcohol so it’s stronger. As with many high quality ingredients, when you have a higher quality, more intense product, you can use less of it for the same effect, or use more for an even more intense flavor. When you open a jar of Madecasse Bourbon Vanilla Beans, or Madecasse Vanilla Extract, you’ll immediately smell and taste the difference.

Madecasse also has 7.05 oz baking bars – 63% and 70%. These are great for brownies, chocolate cakes, and more. If you’re making chocolate chunk cookies or need pieces of chocolate, you can use the regular 2.64 oz eating bars, and they can be easily broken into pieces. These come in 44% milk chocolate, 63%, 63%, 70%, 80%, and 63% with sea salt and nibs.


Now Open: Petaluma Pie!

One of my newest wholesale customers, Petaluma Pie is now open in Petaluma, California.

Lina and Angelo are lovely people whose goals are “to work locally, support our local economy, and bring our customers truly wholesome and delicious pies.” The pies are delicious and I can’t wait to visit their new bakeshop! You’ll be able to find Madecasse chocolate & vanilla, as well as Taza Chocolate there.  To stay up to date, you can also visit the Petaluma Pie blog and follow them on Twitter.

%d bloggers like this: