Wharton alum Jeff Goodman (WG96) launched online chocolate retailer Bright River Chocolate in late 2013 and recently partnered with USA TODAY for a tour of San Francisco's iconic chocolate scene.

When Wharton alum Jeff Goodman founded the company in San Francisco in 2013, his goal was to share his love of fine gourmet chocolate as well as the fun of exploring a landscape of chocolate options that simply didn’t exist when he was young.

Over the last 15 years, there has been a tremendous increase in the number of artisanal chocolate makers and chocolatiers who are making delicious chocolates and chocolate confections. While most people love chocolate and many people have heard about the health benefits of dark chocolate and cacao, few people are familiar enough with chocolate makers and their various options to be able to select the chocolates that best fit their personal interests, tastes, and curiosities.

That’s where Bright River Chocolate comes in. Bright River Chocolate’s mission is to take people on a never-ending journey of surprising — and fun — discoveries about chocolate.

Bright River Chocolate makes available hundreds of different chocolates from dozens of different makers on their website and combines this with a wide array of education and information to make it easy for people to find those chocolates that will be special for themselves, that they can share with their friends and family, and that they can give as corporate and personal gifts to make a memorable impression.

With this mission in mind, Goodman and Bright River Chocolate teamed up with USA TODAY in late January 2014 to produce a series of video interviews with some of the leading chocolate makers, chocolatiers, and chocolate retailers in San Francisco.

In addition to the video interviews, one of the USA TODAY videos also covers a Wharton Club of Northern California event — a Chocolate 101 evening education session at Dandelion Chocolate in San Francisco. Prior to the Chocolate 101 event, Goodman interviewed two of Dandelion’s founders to learn more about how and why they had started the company a few years ago. After that and during the evening's session, Wharton alumni got to learn from the experts at Dandelion how to make chocolate — everything from roasting the cacao beans to making the cacao liquor to the conching process and on out to the packaged bars. 

For more information about new trends in chocolate and for an amazing selection of artisanal gourmet chocolate, go to Bright River Chocolate.