For the Love of Chocolate: Socola Chocolatier's New Telenovela Series

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You may remember reading about the Oakland sister duo, Wendy and Susan Lieu, the founders of Socola Chocolatier several years ago on Bay Area Bites.

They're still going strong, and Wendy and Susan are celebrating the upcoming launch of their new Sriracha Chili Truffles that are making their debut this fall with a wacky and whimsical online video series. For the Love of Chocolate is a "telenovela about how Miss Artisan Chocolate Bar ("Yes, I am dressed up as a giant chocolate bar," said Susan in her press release) and racy Sir Ra Cha Cha from the Tender Loins of SF find and fail at love in the Foodie World."

Susan took a break from her comedic Miss Artisan Chocolate Bar duties to answer a few questions about her project.

What inspired you to create this series?


Socola Chocolatier is a very small artisan chocolate company in San Francisco. We don't have huge marketing budgets. But we do have a lot of creativity, energy, and access to amazing artists in San Francisco. When I went to a Kearny Street Workshop - 18 Reasons show "A Sensory Feast: Local Flavors" featuring Amy Ho's costumes, I knew we had a match in art and humor. Since we were about to launch our Sriracha Chili truffles, I thought this would be a creative way to show how these specific chocolates were "born": through a telenovela series!

What was the best part of working on it?

The best part was the adventure creating it. We shot all three episodes in 3 days with a Flip Cam and the camera function on a Canon camera. No fancy equipment; just a vision with a storyboard, great costumes by Amy Ho, props by Jessica Sum, and videography by Kelly Robinson (my intern for the summer Harvard Class of 2013, majoring in Neuroscience no less!). The best part was having the storyboard and shooting for the day. During the "mugging" scene, we found the actor for the Piñata on the street. If you look closely, there is a man in the background thinking I am actually getting hurt and need help. We ran into Wilfred the Dog (FX) at the Embarcadero and did improv with him. We partnered with local businesses like Bi-Rite Market, Barber Lounge and even Gondala Servicio at Lake Merritt (Episode 2!) to shoot some hilarious scenes. The best part is it's San Francisco -- most people didn't even give us a second glance -- just another day in San Francisco with a giant bar of chocolate running around!!!

Have you received any real-life invitations for a date?

3. LOL. I think the dog owner of Wilfred was trying to hit on me to take me out to dinner. And at the screening I got some post Facebook "hit-ons" (definitely not a poke though!) which was awkward since I introduced them to my boyfriend. But it's San Francisco -- anything goes!

Their three-part series, which launched last week, can be viewed on their YouTube channel. A new episode will premiere on Tuesday. Don't miss Susan's priceless chocolate meltdown montage that includes a hilarious moment with Claes Oldenburg's "Cupid's Span" sculpture.