Ah Ah TCHO! Gesundheit


If you don't know Tcho, then you need to. It's a wonderful little chocolate storefront and factory located on Pier 17 (at the intersection of Green and Embarcadero). I stumbled upon it a little over a year ago when the original storefront was in operation. I loved the chocolate samples (hooray for free), cool graphics and packaging, and their perspective on creating flavor experiences. I went back a couple times and even bought gifts for a few of my dark chocolate loving friends. It felt like a treasure that I had discovered and could share with locals and out-of-towners alike.

About 5 months ago, I was prepared to share this local find with a friend but when we arrived at the storefront there was a sign posted telling us how they were temporarily closed for business. My heart dropped and I thought that Tcho was gone forever. Not so, friends, not so. Turns out the closure really was temporary; they were making room for their new Pier 15 neighbor, the Exploratorium.

Anyway, Tcho is open for business once again and the new space is even larger. And they started offering daily factory tours which means I FINALLY got to live out my Willy Wonka (and I'm talking about the one from the 70's and not the creepified Johnny Depp version, which I happen to be boycotting) dream of being like Veruca Salt, chasing after a golden-egg-laying goose, and yelling, "But I want it now, Daddy!" in my best British accent.

The hour long tour is pretty jam-packed: you'll watch a short video on Tcho's history and sourcing, get to see and feel dried cacao, go on a tour of the small yet mighty factory (though the team and machines are not in operation on the weekend), and get to sample some chocolates. Yes, the tour was fabulous and informative, and no I didn't care that I was the only solo person in a group filled with senior citizens, tourists, families, and couples. Oh and I even got some insider information: Tcho will start selling milk chocolate in no time. Chocolate lovers, Unite!