Kiva Confections’ edibles look pretty and taste good.
East Bay natives Kristi Knoblich and Scott Palmer started Kiva Confections from the kitchen of their San Leandro home in 2010, before the legalization of marijuana. Now, the so-called “old-timers” in the exploding industry of edibles have grown through several spaces and plan to expand further from their West Oakland warehouse.
Kiva makes artisanal chocolate bars (milk and dark chocolate in a variety of flavors), Petra mints (Moroccan mint and eucalyptus flavors) and the best-selling Terra Bites (chocolate-covered blueberries and espresso beans) — wrapped in distinctive, well-designed packaging that harkens to the artistic mien of the founders, who have backgrounds in photography. The married couple graduated during the heart of the recession and cooked up the idea to start an edibles business while scrambling to make ends meet. They saw the need for a product that “could be trusted, was professionally packaged, tasted good, and fit the lifestyle of everyday consumers,” Knoblich said.
Knoblich likens the Wild West feeling of the cannabis industry to the burgeoning days of Silicon Valley. “It’s definitely a startup-like culture. We figure it out as we go along,” she said. Ever-changing regulations constitute the company’s main challenges, especially since the passage of Proposition 64 in 2016, the California Marijuana Legalization Initiative. Kiva’s mission is to adhere to the “highest standards of product quality, certified production methods, efficacy testing, and innovation.”
Education is another focus as Kiva aims to expand its consumer base to the casual user. Kiva’s chocolate bars are divided into 5 milligram sections (with 10 milligrams being the standard “safe” dosage), and the wrapper includes instructions (start with 5 mg then wait two hours) so that newbies don’t over-consume. Each Terra Bite is 5 mg, and Petra mint 2½ mg. Knoblich sees microdose edibles as the main growth area for the company. “Cannabis has the potential for being a replacement for alcohol,” said Knoblich. “One microdose can take the edge off and lift your mood.”
You can find Kiva Confections at numerous locations in the East Bay, including Blum, CBCB, and Harborside, as well as at KivaConfections.com.