The story of Kathy Wiley’s chocolate company, San Francisco-based Poco Dolce, just got even sweeter. After the 49ers’ loss Sunday in the NFC Championship Game, San Francisco’s mayor is sending Poco Dolce treats to his Seattle counterpart, part of a charitable bet the two made before the Seahawks won a ticket to the Super Bowl.
The bet brought attention to Poco Dolce, and Wiley is building on it through her website and Facebook and Twitter accounts. “This pushed us up on the map. It’s given us national press. And we have blown it up on social media,” Wiley says. “I’ve got posts from all my friends and some of my customers. Even from Seattle. Someone wrote they’re excited that their mayor gets to try Poco Dolce.”
The handmade, high-end bittersweet chocolates include signature tiles that are available in distinctive flavors (including Aztec chile, sesame toffee) and non-dairy bars blended with olive oil, peanut butter and other elements – all topped with sprinkles of sea salt. They’re sold online and through select retailers across the country. (There’s a list on the website.)
Wiley chose the name because “poco dolce” means “not too sweet” in Italian. She started the company in 2003 and now has 10 full-time employees. Mayor Ed Lee and some of his staff members are set for a tour of her 6,000-square-foot production kitchen next week.
“There’s plenty of chocolate produced in San Francisco, so it’s definitely an honor to be chosen,” says Wiley, who got caught up in the 49ers excitement but missed the game because she was working a trade show all day Sunday. “We had the proclamation at our booth and people were loving it, saying, ‘We’ve gotta try this – you’re in the bet.’ ”
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