Apprentice Chocolate Maker
Dandelion Chocolate is a bean-to-bar chocolate factory in San Francisco’s Mission District. We make chocolate from only two ingredients, cocoa beans and cane sugar, and travel to origins as often as we can to build good, trusting relationships with the producers who grow and ferment the beans we buy. We’re always on the search for good cocoa beans, and now we’re looking for an Apprentice Chocolate Maker to help our production team craft small batches of chocolate.
About the Job
You should love chocolate as much as we do, but you don’t have to know everything. We’ll prepare you. After adequate shadowing and hands-on training, you will join our production team in their daily routine—roasting, cracking, sorting and winnowing cocoa beans, then tempering and molding chocolate bars by hand. Your new team consists of very passionate chocolate makers that care deeply about the process and take pride in the end product. Through their coaching and daily chocolate taste testing, you learn to recognize when a cocoa bean is over-roasted, when a tempering round goes sideways, and if a batch of chocolate is ready to be pulled according to the texture and taste. At the end of the day, everyone meets to review what goals were met, what hiccups happened along the way, and what steps can be improved on as we continuously seek to improve and perfect the chocolate making process. This is a physical job, but it’s a labor of love. We prefer that candidates have kitchen experience, as it helps with the pace and demands of this position. This role is full-time at $14/hour with the possibility of a pay increase in the first 6 months.
You are fascinated by all things chocolate and feel great satisfaction working hard and fast towards measurable goals. In the dynamic, supportive, and loving team environment, you eagerly offer a hand when needed and help brainstorm potential solutions for an issue that has everyone stumped. The team knows they can always rely on you and your high attention to detail, recognizing that your own high personal standards for the quality of your work matches perfectly with their own. You are self-motivated and feel great satisfaction with a spotless workspace where every item is in its place. You understand the safety standards that must be followed in a factory setting, easily maneuvering around running machines, communicating your location in a tight space, and knowing when to ask for help when you aren’t sure how to proceed. When you meet new information, you follow up with clarifying questions until you are confident that you could teach the same topic backwards and forwards to the next curious chocolate enthusiast. You easily adapt to the changing daily tides of a production based company. We’re looking for someone who is eager to learn, good-humored, and likes to get their hands dirty.
- Learning and performing all steps of chocolate production: inspecting beans, roasting, cracking, winnowing, starting batches, tempering, and foiling bars
- Tasting and evaluating chocolate bars for flavor and quality
- Holding high quality standards, monitoring each batch of beans and every bar that is produced to make sure it holds up to those standards
- Cleaning and maintaining our production facility, including machines
- Being a producing member of the production team, who produces over 14,000 bars a month.
- Willingness to work ~30hrs/week (with potential for more as we grow)
- Willingness to work Saturdays and Sundays
- A passion for chocolate and the motivation to learn more about our product and process
- Ability to absorb new information in a fast-paced environment and to complete tasks quickly, accurately, and efficiently
- Previous kitchen experience is a huge plus -- especially the habits of washing hands, labeling and dating finished products, and working thoughtfully around others.
- The ability to take directions as well as self-direct
- Positive attitude. People want to work with you again (and again and again).
- Keen attention to detail. You adhere to quality standards even when it’s not convenient.
- Excellent time management skills. You use your time efficiently and proactively look for other tasks when you have finished your task and have unexpected down time.
- Ask questions and comply with company policies and service procedures. We work with heavy machinery each day and our team members depend upon each other to maintain strict safety standards.
- Ability to perform tasks requiring bending, stooping, and walking throughout shift
- Ability to work under pressure, navigate crowded spaces carrying dishes and merchandise, and respond to guest and staff needs efficiently and courteously
- California approved Food Handler’s Certification is required upon hire
- Note: This position requires that you be moving on your feet for most of the day and to occasionally lift 50-pound objects
Dandelion Chocolate constantly invests in its people and culture. We offer excellent perks including subsidized medical, vision, and dental benefits as well as the option to enroll in our 401k program. Hourly employees receive paid vacation time and sick time. In addition, our team members enjoy commuter benefits, local gym discounts, and lots of chocolate tasting opportunities.
How to Apply
Dandelion is growing and we are invested in employees who take ownership over their role and are interested in contributing in a bigger way with us. If you are interested, we’d like to see your resume and a cover letter that includes your favorite food experience or influence. Keep in mind that we value passion, attitude, and hard work, so tell us what inspires you to want to join our production team.