Neo Cocoa French-Style Chocolate Truffles
“I am a local girl and I sell locally,” says Christine Doerr, founder of Neo Cocoa Chocolate Truffles. And when she says “local,” she means it. Doerr grew up in Silicon Valley, worked for local chocolatier Cocolat at Stanford as a teen, attended the California Culinary Academy and worked in the Bay Area as a pastry chef.
After a stint in the corporate world, Christine decided “what I really want to do is work with chocolate.” So she went to La Cocina, a nonprofit, San Francisco–based incubator that helps female entrepreneurs build food businesses. From La Cocina, Doerr developed and launched Neo Cocoa. Neo Cocoa crafts “French-” or “European-style” chocolate truffles made of chocolate ganache and 100% natural flavorings, with no hard outer shell.
Why French-style truffles? “I remember working at Cocola as a teen and they had a few unshelled truffles, and those were my favorite. I decided that was what I wanted to make,” says Doerr.
Keeping with her local focus, Doerr uses locally sourced ingredients whenever possible. “We use Guittard chocolate and Clover butter and cream” for the ganache, she says. Doerr then turns her ganache into truffles with flavors like Pumpkin Spice, Zested Lime, Toasted Coconut and Mocha Cinnamon. Doerr also creates seasonal truffles like a version of s’mores for summer and Wild Cherry and Smoked Chili truffles for Valentines Day.
After graduating from La Cocina, Doerr set up her operations in Belmont and started building her business. And if wide distribution is any indicator, business is doing well. Neo Cocoa truffles can be purchased online, but Doerr also has built an extensive list of dozens of retail partners. Available throughout the Bay Area, you can find Neo Cocoa truffles locally at Whole Foods, Draegers, Robert’s Market and Piazza’s Fine Foods.