Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Ask the LA/OC Foodie #1 - Where to Sell Chocolates in L.A.?

Ok, so I'm ripping off a concept that other L.A. food blogs have already started ~ but I'm definitely flattered to be considered a pseudo-expert in this field - and so I'll try to impart what knowledge I have and present to you the first (of hopefully many) ask LA/OC Foodie. (To readers -- feel free to add to this by commenting)

Dear LA/OC Foodie,

I found your blog while searching for chocolate shops in the LA area . . .

I am a chocolate maker (used to be a criminal defense lawyer for 20 years) and now make chocolate from scratch -- from the bean. I import the beans myself and travel myself to the origins. Then I profit share with the farmers.

My specialty is dark single origin chocolate bars; here's the

Why am I writing to you?

I was wondering if you could point me to some shops that I might call on to see if they would like to carry our bars in the LA area? There are two really cool places carrying our chocolate in San Francisco now but none in LA. Any ideas?


First off, hats off to you for career shift and pursuing something that's rewarding for the soul (and hopefully your wallet as well).

Anyways, I can think of a variety of venues in the LA area that may be of interest to you.

First thing that came to my mind is Surfas in Culver City, a restaurant supply shop that carries a wide variety of gourmet & exotic foodstuffs and has an awesome collection of novelty chocolates. They should be open to carrying your product.

Another place to consider is
Mr. Marcel's Market in the Farmer's Market area (3rd & Fairfax) -- they too carry a lot of specialty foods. Their chocolates tend to be more European in origin, but never hurts to ask.

Also, you may want to consider Whole Foods and Wild Oats supermarkets. Yes, both are chains -- but each store seems to operate with a fair degree of independence (I've been pitched & sent releases for different events by the individual whole foods stores, and I know the Wild Oats in my area carries some foods that are locally made) so contacting the operation/marketing manager at the individual stores may be worth it.

Finally, if you really want to get hands-on in selling the product, give some thought to tabling/boothing at some of the (real) Farmer's Markets in the L.A. area (
FarmerNet has a pretty comprehensive directory of the Farmer's Markets in Southern California, along with dates/locations and who to contact if you want to rent space). It's a great opportunity to really meet the people, and would probably help build a loyal customer base. You can also bring and distribute your own marketing materials, something that's not guaranteed at the other venues.

Anyways, hope that helps & wish you the best in expanding your market down South!

~H.C. (LA/OC Foodie)

Got more questions to lob at me?
Go for it


Anonymous said...

the best is nicole gourmet foods in south pasadena. surfas is tooooo expensive and i do not want to talk about the chains. from fresh truffles to lavander essence she has it all


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