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Friday, October 15, 2010

Poco Dolce Opens Up Its Dogpatch Shop

Posted By on Fri, Oct 15, 2010 at 10:00 AM

Poco Dolce's newly installed storefront. - JONATHAN KAUFFMAN
  • Jonathan Kauffman
  • Poco Dolce's newly installed storefront.
Poco Dolce's newly installed storefront.

Shoppers have been welcome at Poco Dolce's Dogpatch offices and production kitchen for quite a while now, but its Third Street storefront has resembled a speakeasy: A grim door that barely stood out from a long block of identical entrances. This week, the seven-year-old chocolate company rolled up the garage door to reveal a new glassed-in entryway, and is open to shoppers on weekdays during its regular office hours.

Kathy Wiley and her kettle. - JONATHAN KAUFFMAN
  • Jonathan Kauffman
  • Kathy Wiley and her kettle.
Jonathan Kauffman
Kathy Wiley and her kettle.
The chocolate-making will remain in the back, out of sight and largely out of smelling range, but owner Kathy Wiley has moved a copper kettle for toffee making out into the front room -- and when it's bubbling the aroma of caramelizing sugar and browning butter twists and curls out the front door. While the renovations aren't completely finished -- a sign needs to be ordered, walls are still being painted -- the shelves for her chocolate tiles and toffees are stocked.

At the moment, the biggest advantage to stopping by the store is to buy individualized boxes rather than the presorted mixes available in markets. "We can hand-pack full boxes of your favorite tile, so you can get a 16-piece box of ginger or almond," Wiley says. However, after Poco Dolce launches its new line of bars the first week of November -- olive oil with sea salt, five-spice, and peanut butter, each $5.99 for a 50-gram bar -- Wiley will be reserving a few flavors that will be unique to the store. A few of the specialty bars she's been playing with: balsalmic strawberry, fig-almond, toffee mocha chip. Keep abreast of store specials through Poco Dolce's newsletter and Facebook page.

Poco Dolce 2419 Third St. (at 20th St.), 255-1443. Open 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Mon.-Fri.; during the holiday season, the store may open on Saturdays -- call to confirm.

Follow us on Twitter: @sfoodie. Follow me at @JonKauffman.

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