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Archive for February, 2013


Raph

Blooming in Time for Valentine’s Day: Dandelion Chocolate Joins our Neighborhood

Are you as excited as we are about Dandelion Chocolate opening a factory right around the corner from our Market?? We asked Alice from Dandelion to tell us more about their craft and luscious final product…just in time for Valentine’s Day! Here’s what she had to say:

dandelion 1

Molly DeCoudreaux Photography

My name is Alice, and I help run the community and cultural pieces of Dandelion Chocolate. I began working here a little more than two years ago, in a garage, learning how to make chocolate.

At Dandelion, we make chocolate bars from the bean. We roast, crack, sort, winnow, grind, conch, and temper small batches of beans and then mold and package each bar by hand. Our whole process is about the bean — we work hard to source great beans from around the world, and then we get out of the way. We want the flavor in our bars to be bold, distinct with each new bean, and unadulterated. We don’t add any additional flavorings or ingredients to our bars, just cocoa beans and cane sugar.

dandelion2

Molly DeCoudreaux Photography

We recently moved into our factory + cafe space at 740 Valencia Street. It’s been such an exciting move, and a long time in the making. Dandelion’s two co-founders, Todd and Cam, found the space almost three years ago. Permits and construction took quite a while, but we’re finally into our space, and the reward is huge! It’s been so exciting to open our doors. Guests can come in, order a hot chocolate, mocha, or a pastry, and watch our production team in action. Soon, we’ll have tastings, classes, and tours as well. A lot like Bi-Rite and 18 Reasons, we want our customers to be able to learn about what they’re eating. Seeing chocolate-making in action is pretty rare and we hope that it’s a treat for guests.

dandelion3

Molly DeCoudreaux Photography

Our next big holiday is Valentine’s Day, and we hope it’s a chocolatey one! We’re starting the celebration early, on February 7th, by selling our bars at the Mission Community Market. Then, we hope to have a few special offerings in our cafe on February 14th. We’ll also have Pam of Shotwell Paper Mill outside our cafe from 12 PM – 5 PM making letterpress cards for guests to take home to their loved ones.

Then, in the next few months, I’ll be focusing on settling us into the neighborhood. I hope our space becomes a place where people love to spend a day lingering and learning. I’ll be working on all sorts of programs that connect the cafe and factory. Overall, we hope to inspire curiosity in our guests and to give them plenty of answers about how to make chocolate. It’s an exciting time and we have big goals!

 


Shakirah

Community Corner: January

Updates on our work to build community through food and service last month.


January was all about starting the New Year off right with our community partners:

  • Ben from our produce team is teaching youth wait staff and chefs of Old Skool Café how to grow amazing produce at their community garden in the Bayview. Join the Carrotmob Campaign to help Ben send his mentees to college!

    Old Skool Cafe Youth

    The youthful staff of Old Skool Cafe

  • We sponsored the 2013 Good Food Awards and hosted a prize-filled 18 Reasons booth educating people about Good Food criteria at the GFA Marketplace. Look for Good Food Awards winners and finalists around the Market.
  • We’re helping YUM Chefs provide 9 free cooking classes to low-income girls in the Mission.
  • We sponsored and attended the 2013 EcoFarm Conference, allowing us to connect in person with farmers, produce distributors, retailers, and farm policy makers from around the country.

    ecofarm 2013

    Our EcoFarm Crew

  • We co-sponsored a free screening and wine reception of Soul Food Junkies at the SF Public Library.  Come to our free screening at 18Reasons on February 25th
  • We held 3 job info sessions in the Western Addition to spread the word about positions we’re hiring for at Bi-Rite Divisadero!
  • 18 Reasons is working with NextCourse to teach Mission High youth professional and life readiness skills;  we’ll be placing youth in culinary internships to gain real work experience.
  • We supported Urban Tilth’s MLK Jr. Day Celebration with a donation that fed 300 volunteers.
  • SEFA Food Guardians, who we’ve worked with to provide produce merchandise training, launched a ‘grand reopening’ of a Bayview corner store, complete with new produce racks, increased fruit and vegetable offerings and a new produce manager, Azmi.

    GFA education

    Teaching Good Food Criteria through Trivia!

SEFA Grand Re-Opening

Check out the new produce offerings at Lee’s in the Bayview!

  • Want to make a kid’s day? Register for Girls Night Out or Boys Night Out at the Boys and Girls Club of San Francisco’s Columbia Park Clubhouse (around the corner!): http://www.kidsclub.org/event/gno-bno/

Know of great volunteer opportunities? Spending some quality time at a worthy local organization that could use Bi-Rite’s support? Let me know!

Who we donated to in January (27 different organizations!):

Pacific Primary School

Mission High PTSA

Glaucoma Research Foundation

Voice of Witness

One Fifty Parker Avenue School

San Francisco Botanical Garden Society

Nihonmachi Little Friends (NLF)

Independent Television Service (ITVS)

SF Dept. of Public Health – Child Health and Disability Prevention Program

Performing Arts Workshop

Harvey Milk Photo Center

Pacific Chamber Symphony

Ecological Farming Association

Seedling Projects/Good Food Awards

Twinspace

San Francisco Organizing Project

Wind in the Willows

Quiet Lightning + 826 Valencia

Sanchez Elementary School

18th Hour

YUM Chefs

Alamo Square Neighborhood Association

La Cocina

Z Space

Culinary Careers BGCSF/ 18Reasons

Filmmakers Collaborative

Mission Preparatory School

Urban Tilth

 


 


Kiko’s Food News: 2.1.13

The United Nations launched a “Think-Eat-Save” campaign to reduce global food waste (which it estimates at 1.3 billion tons a year), calling on eaters to take logical steps like making a shopping list to avoid impulse buys, freezing leftovers, and embracing “funny” looking fruit and veggies: (Grist)

One author explores how the simple act of eating differently is radically changing race relations in America, as diverse communities interact in newly forming local food economies: (GOOD)

McDonald’s fish sandwiches and “McBites” will soon have a blue Eco-label from the Marine Stewardship Council, which is auditing to verify their fish comes only from sustainably caught Alaskan Pollock; this will boost the Council’s visibility, but will such a market-based approach result in declining stocks? (Los Angeles Times)

Cheesemongers are a new group within society’s creative class, many responsible for some of the most amusing writing on the market; fun to read different descriptions of Red Hawk and some of our other favorites! (New York Times)

The Good Food Awards, founded here in SF and gaining momentum around the country, will fulfill its vision of changing Americans’ perception of the price and value of food by creating demand for foods that at first glance appear to be expensive, but whose value is revealed as we are educated about the labor-intensive practices and quality of ingredients within them: (Huffington Post)

Two of my favorite chef experts on traditional, economical and resourceful cooking shared juicy tips for making the best broth possible, such as adding raw chicken parts for gelatin and roasting bones before simmering: (Smithsonian)