The chocolate concierge for Bridge Brands Chocolate, an artisanal producer at 12th and Folsom streets, is an expert at pairing chocolate with wine, tea and coffee.
How did you embark on a career in chocolate? After I graduated from high school, I started working at Godiva in the mall. People don’t realize, but to work there it has an extensive training process where you go through all their products, reading materials on the history of chocolate and the story of Godiva. Once I moved up here I started working at the Cannery Chocolate, which is closed now. I started meeting all these chocolatiers here in The City and Oakland and got immersed into the food scene here.
What’s your favorite chocolate? I’m a dark-chocolate lover, and we just came out with an 85 percent obsidian dark chocolate and it has almost a berry aftertaste. We’re also carrying caramels with small bacon bits inside and sea salt on top, and they’re becoming one of my favorites.
Do you eat chocolate every day? Not every day. Actually, I sort of crave steak and shrimp and more-savory items at the end of the day.
What’s the store’s most popular chocolate? Our wine-lovers collection. We have a large selection of different parings with different red wines. We also just came out with a white chocolate pairing with Champagne.
— Juliana Bunim