800 fine chocolates from around the world under one roof — Chocolate Covered SF
By Peter Chang, June 18, 2015
With over 800 kinds of chocolates from 19 different countries, Chocolate Covered Sweets and Gifts located in Noe Valley of San Francisco has the largest selection of chocolates I’ve ever seen under one roof. I’m no expert in chocolates, but the passion and energy of Jack Epstein, owner of Chocolate Covered, can be felt as soon as one steps into the store. It all started in 1994 in a small basement space a couple blocks from the current location, and over the next several years Jack saw the world of chocolates explode where chocolate making became an artisanal craft and people from all walks of life are making chocolates.
Some particularly interesting chocolates we saw were local artisans including Michael Misher from Oakland, L’Amourette from SF, and favorites from Pacific Northwest like Woodblock from Portland, Oregon, international chocolatiers like Zotter from Austria, Omnom from Iceland, and Naive from Lithuania whose name came about because people thought it would be Naive to make chocolates in Lithunania. Jack mentioned the best selling item in the store is actually an unbranded pistachio nut bar from Sante Fe, New Mexico, which he buys in bulk and sells in small 3 oz. packages. We had a taste of this one and that creamy and nutty texture, silky taste of dark chocolate that’s not too sweet, and a hint of chile going down your throat, is simply amazing. No wonder he sells at least 40 pounds of these each month! Jack also found a great market for 100% chocolates which he carries 17 different 100% unsweetened bars.
Besides chocolates, an interesting line of products in the store are these handmade gift boxes that Jack makes when he is at the store. They are either covered with decorative Japanese art papers, or have photos of San Francisco street names and pictures of other landmarks imprinted on the boxes. He is also happy to use the customers’ own custom photos for a small additional cost of $10
We had the opportunity to speak with Jack at his store last week and got an amazing tour, which we live-streamed on Periscope. The replay is embedded below.
Phone: Call Jack at (415) 641–8123