Complete Chocolate Lover’s Guide for the San Francisco Bay Area

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When you think of artisan chocolates, you probably never think of Oracle Corporation, but you should

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Oracle Team USA’s America’s Cup winning catamaran is parked on the man-made lake at Oracle’s campus. You can see it from the café.

UPDATE: This location no longer has a chocolate counter onsite.

When you think of artisan chocolates, you probably never thought of Oracle Corporation, the multi-national software company headed by Larry Ellison, but you should. On the Oracle campus in Redwood City is a great SFBA chocolate find.

Farrell Confections is located in Oracle Café 300, and not only does it make artisan chocolates on site, but it sells them for half the price of other local chocolates. They don’t skimp on the quality of the ingredients, but because they are part of the food service Oracle provides for its employees, the cost is partly subsidized by Oracle.

Like BOGO for chocolate

The subsidy makes for a great deal for local artisan-chocolate lovers. You don’t need to work at Oracle to visit the café. You can get a freshly made, reasonably priced lunch or snack if you’re hungry, then buy some inexpensive truffles for the road — or as a gift.

They have pretty box options, and the truffles are well-made and tasty, so no one will know you paid less than $1.10 per chocolate. (The boxes cost extra, but even with the extra box charge, they’re a great deal.)

Farrell Confections case
Fresh house-made chocolates in the Farrell Confections case in the Oracle’s Café 300.

They have a nice variety of flavors. When we visited, the barista/chocolatier recommended the fresh mint, saying it was his current favorite. The name is the ultimate truth in advertising: The first impression is fresh!!!, with a very vegetal mint flavor. The shell was a bit thicker than expected, but I think that since most people probably buy these truffles loose, it’s better to have a sturdy truffle that survives a walk back to the office.

The chocolatier told us that while some flavors are always available, they change flavors depending on what’s popular and what’s not, and what ingredients are in season. For late spring, that included the fresh mint, plus ginger, rose geranium caramel, and lavender. We also tried the blood orange & cinnamon, which has a light orange flavor ending in the cinnamon; a nice raspberry white chocolate; and a distinctive chai.


His tip was to come on Fridays, because that’s when they put out the new batch of chocolates, which would include any new flavors they made that week.

Usually there is no one manning the chocolate case. Instead, go to the coffee bar/pastry case and ask for help. Or if you’re in a hurry, they have a limited selection of the truffles in the pastry case to buy by the piece.

Either way you are in for a treat. These are competent truffle makers working at Oracle. The chocolates are flavorful, not overly sweet, and well made. The price is truly no indicator of quality.

Alas, there is no key or menu to go with the chocolates, so it helps to take photos of the case or make notes of what you are buying. But I think that’s a small inconvenience to suffer for this deal.

More than chocolate

Farrell Confections is headed by Ian Farrell, who is the Executive Pastry Chef for Bon Appetit, the company that provides food-service management at Oracle. So in addition to providing chocolates to the café, Ian is also in charge of the café’s bakery.

The bakery not only supplies the pastry case with sweet and savory pastries, they also make custom cakes for special occasions. Again, you do not need to work there, just make an appointment to meet with someone to discuss what you want.

So next time you’re cruising through Redwood City, make a detour to the Oracle campus and pick up some chocolates. Get some to share too — you can afford to be generous!

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Published June 16, 2015