We launched our first ever Holiday Pop Up on Santana Row nearly a month ago, and it’s been a whirlwind of adventure filled with new friends, chocolate samples, health permits, melanger demos, breaking (and fixing) things, testing our logistics capacity, and more. In fact, we didn’t even figure out how to turn on the heat in this building until last week, but what’s life but an adventure, right?
Way back when, Todd and Elaine lived in Santana Row above Pizza Antica from 2005 to 2012. For them, it was in that apartment that the very beginning of a rich journey into chocolate would blossom. What started as a hobby, making test batches in their kitchen, quickly grew into the Dandelion Chocolate we know today. There is a lot of nostalgia for us on this block. We even have the same cacao tree (that’s trying against all odds to stay standing up) at our Valencia Street cafe that once called Pizza Antica home.
And so, when Santana Row management contacted Todd about doing a pop-up for the holidays, it was hard to refuse an opportunity to come home again, in some sense. The available space is a whopping 3,000 some square feet, almost the size of our Valencia St. factory and cafe. In other words…way too big for little ol’ us to make use of without starting an entirely new factory. So, we made a cozy corner out of that space for a hot chocolate stand.
Through the hard work of Dandelion team members, we were able to literally pop up in what seemed like overnight. A huge shout-out to Maverick, Snooky and Vic, Dandelion’s in-house handy folk, who designed and constructed a mobile cart to house our espresso machine, sink, fridge and cash register. Our design team created a beautiful retail space to fill with holiday gifts and our tasty chocolate bars. We welcomed a whole new team of seven baristas to help us tell our story in San Jose and share our chocolate with the community here. The cafe is intimate, to say the least. But we have plenty of outdoor seating for people to hide from the rain and enjoy a frothy, chocolatey drink.
Plus, we’re having fun with our new neighbors and the locals in the area. It is a real treat to be able to get out and explore a familiar yet new area at the same time. We’ll be open until December 24th, so if you’re in the area please stop by and say hello!