The transition from pastry chef to chocolatier is not a unique one, except when an entire culinary career has been based exclusively on dairy free, gluten free and strictly kosher sweets. Such has been the journey for Rachelle Dalva Ferneau, a California native and self-taught pastry chef and chocolatier, and it continues to be an exciting adventure.
Beginning in 2007 with the founding of her boutique bakery, Eden Cake, Rachelle has been indulging restaurants, caterers, political agencies, embassies and a multitude of private and business clients with her unsurpassed handcrafted desserts and sweet treats.
Dear Coco Chocolate was created from and is the perfect integration of Rachelle's obsession with chocolate, her lifelong passions for art and travel and her commitment to eco-friendliness. With Dear Coco, Rachelle blends artistry, flavor and the science of chocolate and maintains an unwavering commitment to superior artisanal original-recipe chocolates and clean, ethical ingredients.
me, chocolate is the most challenging and rewarding medium in pastry. It offers
endless learning and creative opportunities and is absolutely my true passion."
All Dear Coco Chocolates are crafted by hand from premium fair trade Belgian dark chocolate, exotic salts, fine herbs, teas, coffees, fruits, flowers, roasted nuts and seeds, and spices from around the world, with no corn syrup, trans fats, preservatives or food colors. We use chocolates of 60% to 65% cacao, which is the range of intensity that balances the global flavors beautifully and without bitterness. Each luscious chocolate is meant to evoke the spirit and flavor of the locale which inspired it, as well as take you on a delightful sensory journey of your own.
Over the years Dear Coco has expanded its offerings from the original 38 flavors of Truffles to include Toffee Chocolate Bars, Artisan Chocolate Tiles, Hot Chocolate Spoons, Giant Chocolate Bars with more creative confections always in the works. While growth and accolades have only inspired Rachelle to remain dedicated to producing chocolates of the highest quality, the exciting flavor and texture combinations, artistic qualities and attention to detail are what set Dear Coco's confections apart.
Dear Coco has developed a passionate and loyal following with chocolates available at selected specialty retailers from coast to coast. Experience the difference that premium ingredients, expertise, creativity and meticulous, loving care can make. Travel the world with Dear Coco and be transported by chocolate.
“Save the Earth – it’s the only planet with chocolate.”
We are committed to being an environmentally (“green”) and socially responsible (“clean”) business. We are firm believers in the old adage, “Be Good to the Earth,” and our bodies too. Here’s how this translates in our day to day chocolate-making:
- We source as many organic and non-GMO ingredients as we can. Consumers are learning more and more about the potential harmful effects of GMOs (genetically modified organisms) on our bodies and the planet. As much as possible, the ingredients we choose for our premium chocolates are organic/non-GMO: the soy lecithin in our chocolate is GM free, we use non-GMO vegan butter, organic soy milk, organic brown rice, agave and maple syrups and many of our spices, nuts and truffle garnishes are organic. Our ingredients are also dairy free, gluten free and certified kosher pareve.
- We use fair trade chocolate. We choose chocolate made from 100% sustainably cultivated cocoa beans sourced fairly and directly from cooperatives in West Africa. These fair practices aim at making cocoa cultivation a sustainable source of income for West Africa growers, thus improving cocoa crops and the earnings of the 60 participating farmer cooperatives, uniting about 40,000 farmers.
- We are vegan. Our truffles used to contain honey (the only non-vegan ingredient we used) and we were on a mission to change that. Once we were able to test high-quality vegan substitutes like organic brown rice syrup and organic agave syrup in place of honey with fantastic results, we were thrilled to make this important change.
- We use all natural ingredients. Absolutely every ingredient we use for our chocolates is something you can pronounce. You will never find corn syrup, trans fats, preservatives or food colors in our chocolates. Even though painted chocolates are a big trend in artisan chocolates, we prefer to leave out the food colors and opt instead for all natural garnishes which naturally add color and also enhance the flavor and texture of your chocolates. You can find the ingredients for each of our chocolates on our website (these are most current).
- Our packaging is recyclable. We want to minimize the waste associated with our packaging and source domestically-made, eco-friendly and recyclable packaging. All of the cardboard and paper components (chocolate box bases/lids, trays, tags, labels, shipping boxes, recycled newsprint packaging fill) are paper recyclable. The clear bags, hygienic single-use trays and clear boxes for our Toffee Chocolate Bars, Hot Chocolate Spoons, smaller Truffle/Caramel Turtle boxes and gift sets are made from recycled and post-consumer materials and are also fully recyclable. The wooden spoons we chose for our Hot Chocolate Spoons are made from sustainable birch and are compostable and biodegradable. A few of our packaging components such as trays, ribbons, twist ties and bubble wrap are not recyclable, but they are reusable.
- We give back. We love eating chocolate and creating new confections, but the heart of us as people of varied cultures is the way that food connects us. As we earn our livelihood through food, it is important for us to give back through food as well: we are proud to contribute to local and global organizations and causes which help feed the hungry. One of these is The Hunger Project,a global, non-profit, strategic organization which seeks to end hunger and poverty by empowering women and men in Africa, South Asia and Latin America to “lead lives of self-reliance, meet their own basic needs and build better futures for their children.”