After spending 7 years in Ecuador working as a Chocolatier and exploring cacao plantations Jeff Stern, the founder of Oso Goloso Chocolate decided it was time to embark on a new adventure back in the United States.  Recently launched, Oso Goloso Chocolate specializes in bark with a unique influence of flavors of Sea Salt, Fruit & Nut, Peanut-Pretzel, Peppermint, and Almond Marshmallow.  They can be found in select boutique shops and ordered online.  


Interview Catherine Bieri / Photos provided by Oso Goloso Chocolate

Where does the name "Oso Goloso: come from?

“Oso Goloso” is Spanish for “sweet-toothed bear.” Picture Winnie the Pooh at his pot of honey, or the bear attacking a beehive to get at the honey-that is the Oso Goloso.

You worked in Ecuador for 7 years in the chocolate industry before opening Oso Goloso Chocolates - tell us a little about that.

I ran a boutique chocolate business in Ecuador for seven years with my wife, who is Ecuadorian. We moved there so our kids could grow up there for a while and learn Spanish and the culture. I made my way into all aspects of the chocolate and cocoa business while there, learning about cocoa beans, bean to bar chocolate making, and quality aspects of chocolate.

Your chocolates are made with Guittard chocolate - one of the oldest American chocolate companies - how did that come about?

We decided to use Guittard chocolate as it’s high quality and they have a serious commitment to ethically sourcing their cocoa beans. They use no added fats or artificial ingredients, so it’s pure cocoa butter and cocoa mass. We  wanted to keep the focus on an American made and local product. As our products are made in California, it’s about as local as we can get since they are based in the Bay area.  And after tasting several US made chocolate, we felt their flavor profiles best met with customers’ expectations about chocolate.

Are all of your chocolates bark?

Right now our product line is only bark. We may expand in the future, but we wanted to make a premium, convenient, delicious grab and go product. It comes in a stand up pouch that can zip shut, so it’s easy to grab a piece and munch on it, and close up the pouch when you’re done, unlike a chocolate bar.

What is your favorite food or drink to pair with chocolate?

My favorite combinations are chocolate and strawberries or chocolate and hazelnuts!