By Kathy Chouteau
As the hint of Valentine’s Day fills the air, a chocolate company has just settled into its new home in Richmond. Coracao Confections, which was co-founded by Daniel Korson in 2008, relocated here from Oakland last November and set up its operations at 1401 Marina Way South, Suite 300.
But don’t swarm the location just yet. Those wanting to procure some of the company’s handmade vegan chocolate bars, truffles, candy bars and drinking chocolates—all of which are certified organic using Fairtrade certified cacao from Peru—can place their orders via its website.
Coracao Confections’ Valentine’s Day offerings include a “Love Potion” drinking chocolate with rose, damiana and maca, as well as multiple specialty truffle boxes like the Devotion and Love Bundles, six, 17 and 22-piece boxes and the 45-piece Gift Tower. Check them out here.
During the Standard’s recent visit to the company’s new Richmond digs—during which this reporter was readily encouraged to eat and drink chocolate throughout—Korson talked about some of Coracao Confections’ bestsellers. These include the Golden Dark drinking chocolate with maca, vanilla, chaga and reishi mushrooms and the Extra Dark drinking chocolate with vanilla and Himalayan salt.
Other customer faves, per Korson, are the Berkeley Bar—which he said is a “better-for-you riff on Snickers”—and also the Salted Caramel and the Almond Butter Bars, which all come in two-packs. The company also rolls out seasonal offerings in addition to the aforementioned Valentine’s Day products, for Halloween, Christmas and Easter.
By using sustainably sourced and health-forward ingredients without refined sugar, Coracao Confections looks to craft chocolate “that not only tastes amazing but leaves you feeling great long after,” per its mission.
The seeds for the employee-owned company’s cacao tree were planted during its co-founder’s youth. According to Korson, he was a self-admitted chocoholic during his youth who loved “all the classic candies” like Hershey’s, Reese’s Pieces, Snickers and the like. Health challenges as a teenager led him to “give up [his] favorite chocolates for a long time.”
In 2006, when working as a pastry chef at Café Gratitiude, Korson had an “ah-ha moment” while helping the Berkeley restaurant build its chocolate department. “That’s where I discovered that chocolate, or cacao itself, is actually incredibly healthy food,” he said, noting it has “tons of iron, magnesium, zinc and accents healthy fats.” He realized that it’s when we add the sugar, the milk and “all the other junk” that chocolate becomes unhealthy.
From there, Korson and his original co-partner, who is no longer involved in the company, set out to make chocolate that tastes like some of the classic flavors that he used to love “with better-for-you ingredients.” A few years later, in 2008, they launched Coracao Confections.
Currently the company’s Richmond location houses its administrative office and equipment, but no retail space. Pointing to the pandemic, Korson said they’re “not really doing official tours right now” but that they might add a display where people can come purchase things and also do customer pickups. “We don’t have that quite yet,” he said.