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Best Chocolatier 

Barlovento Chocolates

Barlovento Chocolates is an artisan chocolatier that only uses Venezuelan chocolate in its truffles and assorted goodies. On Saturdays, you can often find owner Peter Brydon at Oakland Grand Lake Farmers' Market, offering tastes of his criollo and trinitario cacao-flavored treats to customers. Brydon's story is an uplifting one, and he'd be happy to share that with you. After a 28-year career at a printing press, he was laid off and decided to follow his dream — and his taste buds. He experimented with the art of chocolate-making for four years and briefly studied the trade in Canada before returning to the East Bay to open his own shop, where his truffle boxes are a huge hit and great gifts around the holiday season. The friendly chocolatier will even mold a chocolate animal of your choosing with advance purchase.

(Sorry, no information is currently available for other years in this same award category.)

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