Dandelion Chocolate is bringing the “small batch” mentality some associate with coffee and liquor to another favorite: chocolate. They only use two ingredients: cacao and sugar, to create their confections, so the flavor of the bean shines in every bite.
- Where They Sell
“Without ShipStation, we wouldn't be able to keep up with online orders.”Cameron Ring Founder/Chocolate Maker
All your chocolate sounds amazing; how did you decide to go into the chocolate-making business, especially making single origin chocolate?
Todd (my co-founder) and I didn’t set out to start a chocolate factory… instead, we were just tinkering in a garage and thought, “wouldn’t it be fun to see if we could make chocolate?” We cobbled together a few pieces of equipment, scrounged around to find some cocoa beans, and started doing all kinds of chocolate experiments. Because we were working with such small batches (as small as 500g—for reference, a Hershey’s chocolate bar is 43g), we could try lots of different things and, over time, we started developing chocolate that we really loved! Chocolate is ubiquitous and yet it has an amazing story that is mostly untold. We decided we wanted to create a space in San Francisco where someone could come in, learn about chocolate, see it being made, and taste it as bars, hot chocolate, and even fresh pastries.
Do you have any favorite places from which you created chocolate or a particular chocolate that was your favorite?
My personal favorite is our chocolate from Madagascar, both because of its wonderfully fruity flavor (even though it’s just cocoa beans and sugar) and because I had a chance to visit the farm a few years ago.
How has ShipStation helped you with your business?
Without ShipStation, we wouldn’t be able to keep up with online orders. We used to copy & paste address information from our internal ordering system into various shipping providers. That worked fine when we just had a few orders. As orders starting ramping up, though, that was time consuming and, worse, error prone. Fortunately, we found ShipStation just as our orders were spiking; we wouldn’t have made it through the 2012 holiday season without ShipStation!
What’s your favorite ShipStation feature?
The essential feature is integration into the various other tools we use (currently PayPal and StitchLabs). That was so important that we picked some of those tools (and have evaluated future tools) based on ShipStation compatibility. Beyond that, making it simple to ship large numbers of orders without much overhead is critical to us as a small business (we love the hotkeys!). I also feel a lot safer about customer orders because of all of the tracking and record keeping.