Christmas has come early, Humboldt!
More than four years in the making, the fine folks at Dick Taylor Craft Chocolate are ready to unveil their brand new chocolate factory on Eureka’s waterfront. The big reveal will take place at their new cafe storefront – 333 First Street – from 6 to 9 p.m. during this Saturday’s Arts Alive.
There’s still a bit of work to do before the factory is fully functional. The owners, Adam Dick and Dustin Taylor, say it will take a few more months to move operations from their current Fourth Street location to their new Old Town home. Humboldt Bay Coffee roasters will move into the same building in the coming months.
“You know, there were periods where we would refer to this place as our Never Never Land,” Taylor told the Outpost in a recent interview. “It has taken us years to get to this point, so it’s really, really exciting to see the space come together. Once we get the sidewalk done and Humboldt Bay moves in we’ll have a big block party.
The duo purchased the former Co-op building in January 2021. Its previous owners, Pierre LeFuel and Karen Banning, began renovations on the structure a little over six years ago, but those efforts ceased following LeFuel’s untimely death. Shortly after, Banning fell ill and offered to sell the building.
“The previous owners bought it and they did a lot of the rehab work … so they really gave us that launchpad to get over a lot of the structural work,” Dick said. “We’ve wanted this building for a long time, even when it still had a big huge six-foot sag in the wall and we’re like, ‘That place is cool!’ We’ve done a tremendous amount of work but the previous owners’ work was what allowed us to get it going.”
The new space is about twice as big as their current location. Down the line, they hope to expand operations even more.
“We’ve been in this limbo state with needing a bigger space and moving has really put the brakes on buying new equipment and adding more efficiencies, so this will help us further out plans of really going into bulk chocolate,” Taylor said. “Craft chocolate is really expanding all over the world and we’ve been blessed to be a part of that.”
They’re hoping to bring back tours and tasting events once things settle down and promote their lineup of chocolate confections.
“We’re really hoping the retail and cafe experience will bring people back who haven’t participated in the tours or the tastings in the last couple of years,” Dick said. “When we first started we were more of this wholesale business and we weren’t as focused on Humboldt County and we never put that much effort in marketing here. But we’ve really pivoted and, sure enough, you people eat a lot of chocolate. … I think we’ve always wanted to do more education and make this more of a customer-facing thing.”
Dick and Taylor were kind enough to let the Outpost take a sneak peek of their new digs ahead of Saturday’s festivities. Scroll for more pictures.