TCHO’s New Chocolates Support Iconic California Orgs

The East Bay’s beloved chocolatier TCHO is known for bold and risky bets.

The company famously went fully vegan in 2021, willingly forsaking its popular milk chocolate flavors in exchange for alternatives that use oat milk and other animal-free ingredients, and aligned better with its mission.

Now, TCHO is pushing the envelope again with a series of new experimental chocolate bars produced in collaboration with cherished East Bay institutions.

Chocolate for Bears

Grizzly Berry chocolate bar
Grizzly Berry chocolate bar

TCHO’s first new bar is their Grizzly Berry chocolate. It’s a collaboration with the Oakland Zoo, and 10% of proceeds from sales of the bar support the zoo’s mission.

This bar is designed to include the foods that wild grizzlies would have enjoyed in early California, namely blueberries and blackberries.

Imagine if the bear from California’s flag came to life and started looking for an artisan chocolate bar to munch on. This would be it.

TCHO sent us one of their Grizzly Berry bars (and other new bars) to try out. The Grizzly Berry bar is delicious. It’s dark chocolate enrobing dried fruit and has a nice chewy, trail-mix crunch to it.

It’s nice to enjoy a meal that a bear would appreciate while supporting real bears at the same time.

Seaweed Chocolate

Deep, Dark and Salty. Credit: TCHO

Another new TCHO bar benefits the Monterey Bay Aquarium. This one incorporates both sea salt and locally foraged seaweed and is called Deep, Dark, and Salty.

It comes in a beautiful blue sleeve that evokes the aquarium’s blue waters, as well as incorporating a literal taste of the sea.

Perfect Matcha

Perfect matcha chocolate
Perfect matcha chocolate

Perhaps TCHO’s most conventional new bar, at least by their standards, is Perfect Matcha, a collaboration with Third Culture.

This bar uses creamy oat milk and matcha green tea powder to create a bar with the deep, earthy, vegetal flavor of matcha tea, as well as a pleasant, dairy-free creaminess. They’ve also added in dried strawberries, which gives it a matcha latte feel.

Perfect matcha chocolate
Perfect matcha chocolate

If TCHO chooses to add any of these limited edition bars to their permanent collection, our bet would be on this crowd-pleaser.

Hoppy Hour

Hoppy Hour is perhaps the most experimental bar of the lot! It’s a collaboration with the East Bay’s fast-growing Fieldwork brewery.

Hoppy Hour tastes like beer—or at least like the unique, terpene-intensive hops used to make IPAs. TCHO has also given this bar a playful twist by integrating popping candies—basically, pop rocks—to evoke the bubbles of a real beer.

It’s a fun bar, albeit a pretty intense one beyond a bite or two.

Trying the Bars

If you want to get your hands on TCHO’s new, bold bars, you’ll have to move fast. Again, these are limited editions, so they’re unlikely to stick around for too long.

It’s also a great chance to support two California wildlife organizations. We love seeing beloved Bay Area brands like TCHO partnering with local organizations to advance their mission and direct donations their way.

You can grab these unique bars on the TCHO website, or try them on a visit to the TCHO factory.

Thomas Smith

Thomas Smith is a food and travel photographer and writer based in the San Francisco Bay Area. His photographic work routinely appears in publications including Food and Wine, Conde Nast Traveler, and the New York Times and his writing appears in IEEE Spectrum, SFGate, the Bold Italic and more. Smith holds a degree in Cognitive Science (Neuroscience) and Anthropology from the Johns Hopkins University.

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