About the Owner

Hello everyone, and thank you for visiting Cocoa Parlor's website. I'm Karen Webster the creator and sole owner of Cocoa Parlor. From a very young age I loved working in the kitchen. I found my passion with cakes while on a kibbutz in Israel at the age of 19. I continued my passion with an Associate's Occupational Science degree in Pastry Arts from Johnson & Wales Culinary Institute in Rhode Island. I have had the opportunity to work under some of the most amazing Pastry Chefs, and even found my way to Paris France, where my Chocolate passion began. I had the opportunity to work under chocolatier and sugar master Chef Tholoniat. I hope you enjoy our chocolates here at Cocoa Parlor, where our first priority is taste.

About Cocoa Parlor

Cocoa Parlor has been crafting organic, plant-based chocolates with carefully considered ingredients for over a decade. Our Laguna Niguel based chocolate shop offers an assortment of ethically sourced, vegan, and organic truffles, chocolate bars, quinoa bars, and bark - perfect for gifting or everyday indulgence. Cocoa Parlor's design reflects the care, quality, and natural roots of the brand. My personality and passion touches each element of the shop from the packaging and graphics I created personally to the handmade truffle decorations.

The sourcing of Cocoa Parlor Chocolate

As with good coffee or wine, when it comes to cocoa the raw material is paramount for the quality of the end product. Our organic and fair trade cocoa beans come from the Dominican Republic, Peru, Ecuador and Panama.

Cacao Trees

Cacao trees grow in the tropics in the shade provided by larger trees. The trees bloom throughout the year and bear flowers as well as ripe and unripe fruit (called pods) all at the same time. Their flowers, which are pollinated by tiny insects, can be found directly on the trunk and main branches.

The Cacao Pods

A single tree produces between 30 and 50 pods each year, which amounts to around 3-4 lbs. of dried cocoa beans. Depending on the variety, the pods are light-green, yellow, orange-red or red to reddish-brown in color. The pods contain 25 to 50 bean-like seeds surrounded by a sweet pulp.

The Harvest

When it comes to harvesting, our cocoa beans must be harvested at the right time and then be skilfully fermented and dried directly afterwards. The several-day fermentation process breaks down the bitter and astringent flavours and develops the delicate cocoa and fruity aromas.

Chocolate Conching

Chocolate conching is an intricate part of the chocolate production process, named after the shape of the original vessels used, which resembled large sea conches. It is essentially a method of refining and further developing the flavour and texture of chocolate. During conching, the chocolate is ground and mixed, often for several hours and at high temperatures. This process helps to evaporate any remaining moisture and acidity from the chocolate, and to smooth out any remaining gritty particles from the sugar or cacao solids. This helps to achieve the velvety smooth texture we associate with high-quality chocolate.

From Pod to Pleasure

Now that the farmers have done their part, and the Cacao Nibs have been Conched to our specifications, we are finally ready to do what Cocoa Parlor does best. We are chocolatiers here at Cocoa Parlor, and our team of chocolatiers step in at the final stage after the chocolate is made. We take that delicious chocolate and turn it into truffles, bark, bars, and so much more. Taste and quality are what is most important to us. We want to bring you the best chocolate possible. All without any compromise! Always ORGANIC, VEGAN, GLUTEN-FREE, SOY-FREE and NON-GMO.


The Cocoa Parlor Team