SF Business Times reports that Tcho Chocolate will be leaving the San Francisco Waterfront for Berkeley.
According to Tcho’s new CEO Andrew Burke,
Tcho simply outgrew its 29,000-sqaure-foot facility on the
Embarcadero’s Pier 17 and couldn’t find a suitable place in the city to
meet its needs for an all-in-one office, warehouse and factory.
“With the growth needs that we now have, this new space is ideal for
us,” said Burke, adding that the company’s production and revenue has
shot up to more than $6 million — up from $4.5 million at the beginning
of last year.
While Tcho is still searching for a location to keep a small shop in
San Francisco, it will shut its doors at the Pier 17 property next
month. The company hopes to reopen in Berkeley by April.
Burke said that the move shouldn’t affect the gourmet chocolate
company’s brand, which has leaned heavily on San Francisco’s culture of
innovation and creativity — qualities he said are represented in cities
throughout the Bay Area.
“If you think of Tcho and what we stand for — innovation, creating a
high quality product with passionate people — that stands for the whole
Bay Area, not just San Francisco,” he said.
“Community and culture is
very important, and we love where we are today. If we could hold our
needs of growth, it would be great, but we can’t.”
Burke said that the new facility will allow the company to better
integrate its retail shop and manufacturing to create a better
experience for visitors.
“We always felt like Willy Wonka and now we can really do that well,”
he said. “People will be able to come into the store and better
interact to see how the chocolate is actually being made.”
The new factory in West Berkeley will house the factory, offices and a tasting room.
HT: Janet Appel