'Bean-to-Bar' Production

 - Apr 26, 2012
References: dandelionchocolate & facebook
It's possible that Todd Masonis has the best job in the world. As the co-founder of Dandelion Chocolate (which was started with Cameron Ring), he fills his days with a mélange of a love of craft chocolate and 'bean-to-bar' production.

Here, Todd Masonis gives SocialBusiness.org readers a little insight into the business model, along with a few of his inspiration sources.

Photo Credit: Laurie Frankel

Four Questions with Todd Masonis

1. How did the idea for the business model come about?

Our business model is pretty simple -- we make great chocolate and people buy it. We don't really have any gimmicks or have done much marketing. We believe that if you start with great cocoa beans and take the time to process them carefully, you can find some amazing flavors. As we've started selling our chocolate, it's been hard to keep up with the demand so we are happy that this model resonates with people.

2. How did you decide to join this sector?

Originally we were in tech -- Cameron and I had started an internet business about 10 years ago called Plaxo. After selling the company in 2008, we were fortunate enough to have the ability to pursue our passions and spent about two years in a garage roasting beans, building machines and figuring out how to make chocolate from the bean.

3. How do you get your inspiration?

We love the cute, family-owned chocolate factories that still exist in France -- where they roast beans in the back and have amazing hot chocolates and pastries in the front. There's something very magical about that experience and hope that we can create something similar in America.

4. How do you reset yourself to be creative? Do you have any rituals?

It's a challenge with having to keep up production to meet the demand. But we try to set aside enough time to think and work on the longer term goals so we are not just do the day-to-day tasks. We sit down once a month to figure out what we are trying to really accomplish and check in periodically to make sure we are not going off track by being so busy.