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Our Story

Beato Chocolates re-imagines the Dada art movement through chocolate. Inspired by Beatrice “Beato” Wood, our company produces creative, fine chocolates using local Ojai ingredients in collaboration with contemporary artists.

In 2017, Emily Burson, a dietitian and owner of a school catering company in Southern California partnered with Lisa Casoni and Heather Stobo owners of the Porch Gallery Ojai, a contemporary art gallery in the heart of downtown Ojai, CA. During the Thomas Fire that burned through Central California and surrounded Ojai, the three women packed up their belongings and pets to evacuate. Not knowing if they would have homes or businesses to return to, they spent five days reflecting on what the community of Ojai meant to them and what they would miss most about their home town. They could rebuild houses; but they feared that the art, agriculture and community that defined Ojai would be destroyed. With a bit of luck, shifting winds and the heroism of first responders, they were spared – unfortunately, that wasn’t the case for everyone. Beato Chocolates was born out of passion, love, and a desire to give back to people and organizations affected by the fire.

Beatrice “Beato” Wood was an Ojai artist who lived to be 105. She was a talented and eccentric lady whose most famous quote attributes her long life to her love of “art books, chocolate and young men”. Known as the “Mama of Dada” she was the catalyst for the Dadaism art movement. Like the fire that gave seed to Beato Chocolates, the dadaists rejected logic, reason and acknowledged that sometimes destruction is not the end of creativity, but the beginning.

To honor Wood’s legacy, as part of our business model, we have partnered with the Beatrice Wood Center for the Arts and donate a portion of revenue each year to their educational programs.