Chef Dennis Kearney of Coco Délice sent out an email, July 15, 2015 announcing the sale of this SFBA artisan chocolate institution. The letter mentions personal reasons for the sale, plus the difficulty of “achieving a consistent and positive cash flow” and the need for more capital investment.
We at CBTB are sad that such a fine chocolatier is leaving the business. Chef Dennis makes elegant, delicious chocolates that win awards and fans. I am personally going to miss his great peanut butter chocolate Easter bunnies the most, so I am hoping he shares the recipe with whoever buys the business.
The letter, in its entirety, is printed below:
Hello Friends and Colleagues-
I am reaching out to let you know that due to personal reasons (mostly good) I plan to sell Coco Delice. It has been a great run (almost 10 years!) and I have grown a lot as a person and as professional. I am hoping that you or someone you know, might want to purchase either the entire business or some of our products to help expand your own product line. While it would be great to keep the Coco Delice name going, I would certainly understand the desire to absorb the products under another company’s name.
As they say, timing is everything. Coco Delice started getting its momentum just before the recession hit. Since then, finding the money to grow faster and larger has been very challenging, as many of you know. As some of you may know, the company evolved out my own need to get in touch with my creative self, when I was working a full-time job that was far from fulfilling. I never had a solid plan for Coco Delice (mistake #1), but the company continued to grow organically with limited marketing and I went with it, learning lots along the way and making plenty of mistakes.
Please note that achieving a consistent and positive cash flow has continued to elude me as the owner of this business. There are a number of reasons for this, but the main reason was lack of proper planning and lack of capital to implement growth-inducing measures. Hence the low asking price below.
However, Coco Delice has some amazing products (award winning beer chocolates for example) great customers (Whole Foods, Pasta Shop, Carneros Inn) and a very loyal following. I would prefer to sell the company and its assets (equipment, recipes, and customers) in one transaction but would consider all reasonable proposals for the various components. In the right hands, the company could become a mainstay in the artisan chocolate marketplace. Sale price: $123,500
I know some of you might be interested in some of the assets-we have lots of molds, packaging, equipment, etc., please let me know your interests and I will let you know what is available depending on if a buyer steps up to purchase everything or not.
While the decision to move on is bittersweet (pun intended!), the journey has been amazing and I have enjoyed getting to know many of you. Please feel free to forward this email to anyone that may be interested.
Dennis Kearney | Founder
Coco Délice Fine Chocolates
2014 Good Food Award Winner!
Black Magic Beer Chocolates
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A writer/designer, Nancy lives in Oakland with Ronnie, her husband of many years & fellow chocolate enthusiast.