Japanese love gourmet treats and they love San Francisco. So it’s no surprise that one of our city’s most appealing indulgences, Dandelion Chocolate, is being enthusiastically embraced by Japan’s consumers.
In 2015 Dandelion Chocolate entered the Japanese market with a factory and cafe in Tokyo and have expanded with two additional cafes in Kamakura and Ise.
In this program we’ll hear from Dandelion co-founder Todd Masonis and his collaborator for Dandelion’s entry to Japan, Seiji Horibuchi. They will share the strategy that has enabled Dandelion to thrive in the notoriously difficult Japanese market, including forgoing central Tokyo and instead opening in the less conventional locations of Kuramae, Kamakura, and Ise. They will also talk about about the bean-to-bar small-batch artisan chocolate world, their use of using Otani Ware from Tokushima for its tableware, and creating a special hot chocolate using hojicha roasted green tea.
Taste it yourself! Dandelion Chocolate is generously providing samples of their chocolate to the attendees of this event.
Todd Masonis is co-founder and CEO of Dandelion Chocolate. After graduating from Stanford University in 2001 with a degree in Symbolic Systems specializing in Computational Linguistics, he co-founded the internet start-up Plaxo with his friend Cameron Ring, which was sold to Comcast in 2008. After leaving the tech world, he reignited his lifelong love of chocolate through a traveling sabbatical, studying everything from the old chocolate making traditions in France to the best way to grind cocoa beans in his kitchen. Soon enough, in 2010 he and Cameron founded Dandelion Chocolate, a small-batch, bean-to-bar chocolate factory with locations in San Francisco and Japan.
Seiji Horibuchi is a native of Japan who moved to the U.S. in 1975. In 1986 he founded Viz Media, LLC., one of the largest and most successful publishers of Japanese entertainment media based in the U.S. In the summer of 2009, Seiji created a NEW PEOPLE in San Francisco’s Japantown, a destination devoted to film, fashion, art and unique retail brands. In 2014, he helped incorporate Blue Bottle Coffee Japan in Tokyo and coordinated their first Roastery/Café at Kiyosumi Shirakawa. In 2015 he helped established Dandelion Chocolate Japan, Inc.
Light appetizers and drinks provided.