February 2012

Bay Area Chocolate-Startup Entrepreneur to Share His Story of "The Business of Chocolate" Feb. 16

SANTA CLARA, Calif., Feb. 13, 2012 —The co-owner of a startup company that is one of the few small-batch “bean-to-bar” chocolate manufacturers in the Bay Area, will be the featured speaker Thursday, Feb. 16 at Santa Clara University’s Food and Agribusiness Institute.

San Jose resident Todd Masonis of Dandelion Chocolate will share his story of creating a chocolate business in a friend’s East Palo Alto garage, using cacao beans from Madagascar, Venezuela, Costa Rica, Colombia and Bolivia.

The event is entitled “The Business of Chocolate,” and is part of a regular quarterly series on the business of various food industries, presented by the Food and Agribusiness Institute at SCU’s Leavey School of Business.

It will take place Feb. 16 from 5 to 5:30 p.m. at Lucas Hall, Room 126, Santa Clara University campus, 500 El Camino Real, Santa Clara, CA 95053. Following the talk, there will be a tasting of Dandelion Chocolate products.

Masonis and his business partner Cameron Ring  sold their previous startup, Internet address book Plaxo, to Comcast in 2008. They opened production of Dandelion Chocolate in 2010, and are moving later this year to a new factory and café in San Francisco’s Mission District. Their team travels regularly to cocoa plants where the pods are grown and harvested for cacao beans, in an effort to ensure that the farmers use fair practices.

Their product is currently for sale in more than a dozen outlets in California, Oregon, New York, Washington and Victoria, British Columbia.

The event is co-sponsored by the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at the University's Leavey School of Business.

About the Santa Clara University School of Business
The Leavey School of Business at Santa Clara University began in 1923, and was one of the first business schools in the country to receive national accreditation. Its undergraduate business, MBA and Executive MBA programs are consistently ranked among the top in the nation by BusinessWeek, U.S. News, Princeton Review, and others. The curriculum at all levels emphasizes the leadership role of business in creating prosperity within an ethical framework, as well as business responsibilities for social justice and sustainability in the global marketplace. The School opened its $49 million building for undergraduate, graduate, and professional business education in Fall 2008. For more information, see www.scu.edu/business/

Media Contact:
Deborah Lohse | SCU Media Relations | dlohse@scu.edu | 408-554-5121

chocolate,Leavey School of Business,Plaxo,Dandelion Chocolate