COVID-19 Update: March 8, 2020 5:14AM

March 8, 2020 5:36AM

The Craft Chocolate Experience Team has made the decision to remain open from 11:00AM – 5:00PM today, March 8th, for Craft Chocolate Experience: San Francisco.

We are aware of the Department of Public Health Order of the Health Officer that was issued on March 7, 2020 which prohibits non-essential gatherings at city-owned facilities. (for the full statement, click here.) 

As stated in section 4 of this Order, the Palace of Fine Arts is currently not included in the list of facilities included where public gathering is prohibited. When crafting this Order, officials at City Hall worked directly with Palace of Fine Arts building management to specifically assess the health and safety of Craft Chocolate Experience for both guests and exhibitors.

Because the venue is designed to hold about 4 to 6 times as many people as are anticipated to attend on Sunday, there will be sufficient personal space for our guests to remain a safe distance from each other. Out of an abundance of caution, Craft Chocolate Experience will be cancelling some speaker presentations that would place guests in closer proximity for sustained time periods, and other programming will be moved to open air sections of the venue, with increased space between seating.

Craft Chocolate Experience management and staff will continue to execute the safety precautions that exist for any food related event, including hand wash stations, sanitary sampling guidelines, and thorough and regular cleaning of the venue.

The city’s health department thoroughly inspected our event before we opened our doors on March 6th, to ensure that our event is meeting the city’s guidelines for food safety and public health.

Additionally, we have instituted the following procedures at the venue:

  • We have increased the number of hand wash station and sanitizing stations throughout the venue.
  • We have increased the size of our janitorial staff to increase the frequency of surface cleanings including handrails and other high-touch surfaces.
  • Proper hand washing reminders have been posted in all restrooms.
  • We have modified traffic patterns for experience areas to ensure all visitors can sanitize before entering.
  • We have reviewed with our exhibitors all safety protocols, including the RIGOROUS control of providing samples, sanitizing or replacing sampling equipment at regular intervals and keeping sample bowls behind the counter to limit contact from guests.

We also make the following recommendations to our guests:

  • If you are a member of a vulnerable population, do not come.
  • If you are not feeling well, or are concerned that you may not be well, do not come.
  • If you would like a refund, you can seek one through the Eventbrite ticket purchase app, or by sending an email to chocolate@craftchocolateexperience.com.  Provide your name and order number if possible.
  • If you see something that concerns public health while at the event, tell a staff member immediately so the situation can be addressed.

The decision to keep our doors open was made with the best intentions and much consideration. Many of our exhibitors are small businesses who have gone through great lengths and personal expense to be prepared for this event. They have come and are excited to share their passion with the San Francisco community. As  people who make food for a living, sanitation requirements are part of how we operate every day. It is an essential part of doing business and many of the recommendations are common sense strategies that the entire population should consider routine. Standard health and safety requirements are in place to combat these very issues, and we know that our exhibitors have met those requirements.

We will continue to monitor the situation and to work in conjunction with government offices and recommendations, and will post updates here if things should change. In the meantime, wash your hands with soap, limit touching public surfaces, cover your coughs, stay home if you are sick or vulnerable.