Albany Chocolatier Gets Inventive

Seth Bain creates not just candies but clever serving solutions.


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Images: Kristan Lawson; salami image: Instagram

Among the makers sharing their wares at the Berkeley City Club's Chocolate & Coffee Faire last Sunday was Albany's own Seth Bain, known in chocolate circles as The Confectionist

He has an uncandyish day job — with SalesForce — and family ties: Daughter Phoebe helps out. But chocolate-making is a hobby he's nurtured into a sumptuously sweet sideline.

It started about two years ago, when during a camping trip he met a fellow traveler. The pair were discussing their downtime pastimes, "and this guy said he loved making chocolates.

"And I thought: What?!" Bain remembered as faire-goers sampled his artful bonbons and nutty chocolate "salami," served from a self-cooling steel cutting board (see below) that he invented himself.

"I'd always loved baking," he said — and this seemed a tempting next step.

Research and practice (including recent sweet-seeking "field trips" to France and Beverly Hills) led him down the candy lane to a lustrous line of offerings — sold mainly at the Kensington Farmers' Market, held Sundays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., rain or shine — that range from canelé de Bordeaux to pistachio/orange-peel and chipotle/peanut bars. Especially close to Bain's heart are the bonbons, expertly flavored with such delicacies as burnt orange and toasted cardamom seed. 

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