The Chocolate Life

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I am heading to my first Fancy Food show next week. I've been perusing the exhibitor list and I'm hoping that the 2 days of attendance I've booked will be enough! Does anybody have tips, suggestions, etc. to help me use the days effectively?

I couldn't resist and signed up for one of the educational events - the chocoholics tour of San Francisco. I recognize one Chocolate Life member who we will be visiting on the tour - Christine Doerr of Neo Cocoa. Looking forward to meeting you Christine!

I'll also be attending the Fine Chocolate Industry Association winter event on Sat. evening - also taking place in San Francisco. Clay will be part of a panel discussion on the health benefits of chocolate. Should be great fun!
Anyone else plan on attending?

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I'll be at both events as well
See you all there!
Look forward to meeting you too Molly! How great to meet up with so many chocolate people. Christine, I won't make the dinner event you and Jade planned. I'm sure it will be an awesome evening and I definitely regret not being able to make it. I'm just too squeezed. I'll look forward to seeing you on the tour Saturday.
Hi Lana, I'm new to the site but love what I'm reading! It sounds like you have a full schedule while you're at the Fancy Food show but I'd like to invite you to come taste our Dark Chocolate Sorbetto at booth #3111 PreGel America. It would be great meet you, have fun in SF!
I'll be there Sunday. My chocolate company won't have a booth, but just look for the guy in the yellow polo shirt with the logo that says The Tea Room - we make organic, tea-infused chocolates out of Napa. You can find out more about us at I also suggest you all become fans of The Tea Room Chocolate on Facebook, and follow TTRChocolate on Twitter. Once we get a large enough fan base, you all can benefit.
Hi Greg - In the past you've had a booth at the Fancy Food Show. Why not this year?
We're taking part in another event in Las Vegas this week, kinda hectic. But we will be in NYC this summer...and Anaheim this March.
OK - one more newbie Fancy Food question. I'm now packing and I'm wondering if I need to bring a packsack or something of the sort. I know I can put in orders with vendors for products that I want - but can I purchase just 1 or something (eg. a bottle of olive oil) just to try it? And can I then bring this with me? (hence the need for a carry bag?)

There is an official policy PROHIBITING people attending the show from removing samples from the show floor and there is NO selling from the show floor. However, you should be able to sample almost everything you want to try.

There are security people at the exits and they randomly look at bags so if you do have something and they find it in your bag, they will take it from you and donate it to local food bank. The rules don't apply to exhibitors (or the press, thank goodness), so you may be able to arrange to meet outside the show floor and have them deliver samples that way.

Also, FYI, bags with wheels on them are also officially prohibited.

:: Clay
Thanks Clay. Too bad - I was hoping to bring home all kinds of items to try in recipes. I guess I'll have to try my luck with clandestine meetings!
Thanks, Clay. I'm going as press this year, but Frank who does our chocolate tastings and chocolate tours and chocolate scavenger hunts is a buyer. This will make it easier for us. Most of the exhibitors love to hand out samples to take home. Overwhelming to try everything there.
So Janet... without mentioning names... have you known buyers to take samples out of the show? Is this a common (albeit against regulations!!) practice?
Not big samples, but yes, samples. How much chocolate can one eat in a day? Small packets and small bars or cocoa. My experience has been that this is not every exhibitor, but several offer samples to buyers. Maybe things are tighter this year. Since I blog about chocolate, I found it very helpful last year, although mostly I collected collateral. We also placed orders. I think samples would most likely go to buyers.

I thought there was a no wheels rule last year, but I saw people with wheels. Frank brings a small backpack. Since most of the exhibitors scan your badge, they can always follow up later.

I received chocolate samples in the mail after the show, and that was most helpful.

This show is overwhelming but so much fun!!


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