Chocolate a Moo Moo
It’s not quite Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, but when a longtime chocolatier named Charles (better known as Chuck) has a 4000-square-foot chocolate factory and opens a retail store and cafe with a view into the candy kitchen, it’s difficult not to think of Willie Wonka.
Chuck Siegel founded Charles Chocolates in San Francisco in 2004. In October 2005 he moved the chocolate factory to Emeryville. On Valentine’s Day this year, he opened a retail store at his factory location; and in April, he followed up with a cafe serving hot chocolate, ice cream, pastries and Oakland-produced Bluebottle Coffee. Siegel, who hails from Flint, Mich., and lives in San Francisco, is a self-taught chocolatier who made his first foray into the candy business with Attivo Confections in Emeryville in 1987. This East Bay Willie Wonka has assorted Charles Chocolates selections available at 400 locations nationwide, including Whole Foods. Charles Chocolates Retail Store, 6529 Hollis St.; open daily 11 a.m.–7 p.m.; (510) 652-4412; www.charleschocolates.com.
Jamila Kanika had two key reasons to come out of “retirement” to open Capt’n Moo Moo's, her mainly take-out cafe (with some outside seating) on Market Street, near Adeline. First, she lives nearby and didn’t want to have to get in her car and drive to buy a coffee and something good to snack on. Second, she says, “I didn’t want to see another liquor store in the neighborhood.” More than 10 years ago, Kanika closed her bakery-style Scone City Cafe and quit producing her original gift boxes of baked specialties that she supplied to Gump’s and Saks Fifth Avenue. Now she sells fresh homemade baked goods, soups, chili and sandwiches, plus coffee and tea, to her new friends and neighbors. Capt’n Moo Moo’s, 5751 Market St., open 6:30 a.m.–3 p.m. Monday–Friday; 8 a.m.–3 p.m. Saturday; closed Sunday; (510) 594-9414.
—By Wanda Hennig