Todd Masonis – Co-Founder, Dandelion Chocolate

Todd Masonis – Founder of Dandelion Chocolate

Starting up Dandelion Chocolate

  • Simple business model: make chocolate, people like it and eat it.
  • Different from tech companies because it’s so simple, whereas the Internet changes so often and makes tech business more complicated.
  • Had a simple model: wanted to get a place on Valencia, run a chocolate factory.
  • At first, they’d have to go weeks or months without having a day off, but that’s the work you have to do when starting up a business like this. After a while, work time mellows out and gets more normal.

Dandelion Work Philosophy

  • Focus on fun and on quality of the chocolate because they aren’t in the business for the money or making better economic decisions.
  • Use very high quality wrapping paper — when people look at how much detail Dandelion puts into their work, they will trust the company/brand more.
  • Do not compromise quality for speed efficiency; hand-wrap the bars to keep optimum experience and taste. Dedicated to quality with hand-wrapping, but not necessarily anti-technology.
  • Pragmatic approach: perform a calculated series of taste tests on roasts to perfect the process and flavor.
  • When hiring workers, if structurally, hiring more workers is unnecessary, you should let them go to help them pursue what they want to do, give them recommendations and help them out.
  • Afraid of having chocolate that just tastes like everyone else’s chocolate. If there is a bar that a lot of people hate, but some people say it’s the best bar they’ve ever had, they keep that bar–creates a distinctive, unique taste for their brand.

No fear of failure

  • No real risks for taking chances on your own business.
  • The worst case scenario is that you go back to the life you’re living right now; no use in worrying.
  • If you fail, you can just go back to working like you did before.
  • Get to meet a lot of cool people and have a new experience just by trying and starting a new project/business; still create new relationships.