About Us

It’s summer 2023. Dale and Kala are noodling new business ideas. Inspired by LA’s vibrant sidewalk vendor-scene of hot dog, elote, fruit, and ice cream carts, Dale wondered aloud if we could do that… but with chocolate. Insulated carts are cheap. How hard could it be? Then on a morning walk down by the LA river we spot a 100 sf space for rent. Hardly bigger than a cart! A random Thursday date night soon after, we found ourselves at the legendary Thai restaurant, Jitlada (you should go!), and over Pad Thai and green curry, The Chocolate Dispensary – name, tagline, playing on cannabis language, tasting lounge, etc – downloaded to us both. Two days later we toured a space for rent in Echo Park, fell in love with it, and were asked for a deck and business plan. We had neither.

Kala wrote pages and pages of notes and within a couple weeks, we had a deck and business plan, and were asking ourselves, “are we really going to do this?” The answer was a wholehearted, in unison, “yes!

Besides being in love with one another, we are both in love with the wide and wonderful world of craft chocolate. We can’t wait to explore it with you.

If you want to learn more about us as individual humans, please read on.

More About Kala

Born and raised in Germany, Kala grew up on Swiss and Belgian chocolate. A family tradition started by her older sister, who was convinced their Christmas trees grew chocolate, developed into a life-long obsession with chocolate. You see, for a lark, our mom had placed some simple chocolate balls on the tree branches on the night of December 23rd so when my sister woke up the next morning, she believed that the tree had grown chocolate overnight! It’s a tradition we’ve kept up with all the other little ones in our family. 

Kala’s life has taken a number of different professional turns spanning high-tech, professional opera performance, non-profits, entrepreneurship, and much more. She founded and ran Five Senses Tastings, a musical wine tasting events company for over 10 years, where she gained extensive knowledge of the food & wine business, hosted hundreds of both in-person and virtual events, and learned all aspects of running a small business (well, I guess you all can be a judge of that!). Kala has sung on concert and opera stages around the world as a professional opera singer, performed for President Barack Obama’s Inaugural Ball in London, and even serenaded the President of Chile aboard a Navy ship in the middle of the Pacific ocean. She is a WSET Level III Wine Professional Certified with Distinction, holds a Certificate of Completion with Honors in Chocolate Making from Ecole Chocolat, is fluent in Spanish, and highly proficient in French and German, and is a student of improv comedy. Kala is a former bone marrow donor and after having lived, worked, or studied in 35+ countries, she has found her home here in Echo Park with the love of her life, Dale, who is also her partner in crime at The Chocolate Dispensary.

More About Dale

Dale grew up moving between Oregon, Missouri, and Southern California. Fresh out of college, he went from delivery driver to warehouse manager to retail store manager at the iconic, still-beloved Santa Cruz Coffee Roasting Company. The SCCCR was a leader in Fair Trade coffee-sourcing for their trademarked blends, and introduced 'pour-over coffee' to their rabid customers as a thing before the term was even coined. In 1999 he bought a house across the street from his best friend in the hills of Echo Park and found home. He still lives there happily (as does his best friend), and his love of the neighborhood has only grown. His career has mostly been as a freelance producer and director for film, TV (both scripted and reality), music videos and commercials. He has owned his own TV production company and was a network executive at Travel Channel, HDTV, and DIY Network. For the past four years Dale has been the COO of Field Team 6, a wildly successful democratic voter registration organization (where Kala volunteers).

After knowing one another for almost a year and a half over Zoom, Kala and Dale met in person at a Field Team 6 fundraiser in October 2021. He asked her out that night, and they’ve been together ever since, recently getting engaged. You can thank Dale for all the chocolates with nuts and other crunchy inclusions and Kala for all the other stuff.