Chocolate maker plans to relocate from Oakland to Richmond

Chocolate maker plans to relocate from Oakland to Richmond
Corocao Confections plans to move into this Marina Bay location. (Photo by Kathy Chouteau)

By Kathy Chouteau

If an East Bay chocolate company’s sweet deal goes through, it plans to move to Richmond this summer.

Corocao Confections—an Oakland-based chocolate manufacturing company that crafts small-batch, hand-made, vegan chocolate bars, truffles, candy bars and drinking chocolates—has applied for a conditional use permit (CUP) from the City of Richmond’s Planning Commission, according to the commission’s agenda report. Daniel Korson, who founded the company in 2008, looks to manufacture chocolate at the existing tenant space at 1401 Marina Way South, Suite 300, in Richmond, nearby Purity Wine and Study Bar. The Planning Commission will consider the application Thursday, June 17.

“We want to bring great chocolate, enticing aromas, jobs, and joy to the community,” said Korson in his application. “Given that there is one winery in the Marina Way South building already and another on the way, dark chocolate would be a perfect complement and opportunity for collaboration with these wineries.”

Currently, Corocao Confections employs twelve company-stock-owning employees; its proposed move includes plans over the next five years to expand its operations to twenty-five employees, according to the report. While the company’s proposal doesn’t include retail space, it will accommodate local customer pick-ups at the Richmond location “so residents will have access and experience all that a local chocolate shop has to offer to the community.” Minor plumbing and electrical improvements are the primary updates planned for the space—which is one section of an overall 64,800 sq. ft. building on a 4.65 acre lot.

“We have outgrown our office and chocolate kitchen in Oakland, CA and are in love with the 1401 Marina Way South facility in Richmond,” stated Korson in his application as the reason prompting the company’s move. He further cited the site’s spaciousness, location/neighborhood, ample parking and updated facility as other plusses, calling the move “a quality-of-life upgrade for our team.”

In the application, Corocao Confections highlighted that its busy season is October through May and that they aim to relocate during the slower summer months of June through August. To hit this timeline, the company indicated its CUP permit would need approval by June 28 and its expedited building permits would need approval by July 15 of this year in order for them to successfully relocate to Richmond.

For more info about Corocao Confections, click here.