In the years since founding NeoCocoa, Christine has garnered some serious accolades. She was most awarded at the 2011 San Francisco International Chocolate Salon with multiple awards including Best Truﬄe and Most Luxurious Chocolate Experience. In 2011, she was honored with the distinction of being named a top 10 North American Chocolatier by Dessert Professional magazine. In 2016 the Toffee Nib Brittle won a Good Food Award and in 2017 the Black Sesame Seed Brittle won a gold SOFI (Specialty Outstanding Food Innovation) from the Specialty Food Association. In 2020 the Black Sesame Seed Brittle won a Good Food Award.
Christine continues to expand her product offering beyond her initial “Hearts of Chocolate” line of ganache truﬄes, creating a variety of other chocolate confections including barks, toffees, and chocolate covered marshmallows. She also serves on the Chef's Council at CCD Innovations Inc. and she is on the Pastry Program Advisory Committee (PAC) at the International Culinary Center.
Be sure to check out the Lettuce Wrap Podcast to hear real stories of some of your favorite small food business entrepreneurs.
NeoCocoa founder Christine Doerr’s love affair with chocolate began in the 1980’s. As a teenager, she worked at a Cocolat chocolate shop, part of a chain of stores founded by Alice Medrich who is credited with popularizing chocolate truffles in the SF Bay Area. Christine’s experience at Cocolat eventually inspired her to enroll at the California Culinary Academy and after graduation, go on to work as a pastry chef at various bakeries and restaurants throughout the Bay.
After 10 years in the kitchen, Christine left the culinary world for a stint in the corporate world. However, after several years working as a graphic designer, chocolate eventually called her back to the kitchen. After much soulsearching, Christine asked herself what she would do for nothing and the immediate answer was “work with chocolate”.
“I'm an avid chocolate truﬄe taster and have the hips to prove it!” Ever in search of the perfect truﬄe, Christine never found the type of truﬄes she craved on the market. Thankfully, she saw this as a perfect opportunity to start her own business. So in 2008, Christine founded NeoCocoa. With the help of La Cocina, a non-proﬁt incubation program that helps female food entrepreneurs start and grow their business, Christine began making her own line of unique shell-less artisan truffles.
Amanda Garcia is our head chocolatier and has been with us for over 6 years. She has helped develop many of our recipes, including our delectable Double Chocolate Marshmallow Squares, Wildflower Honeycomb and our popular line of toffee brittles.
She began her love for chocolate as a little girl, when her aunt treated her to a day at Nieman Marcus and experienced Joseph Schmidt chocolates for the first time. That love of chocolate turned into a life of pursuing the finest confections. Beginning with making cookies and cakes for her friends’ birthdays and then leading to a term of study at the International Culinary Center, to finally creating artisanal confections at NeoCocoa. She is the power behind NeoCocoa with her, self-proclaimed, "ganaches guns".
You can learn more about Amanda and her Cocoa Paws on the Lettuce Wrap Podcast - "A Crust and Fudge Center."