We are excited to present the world’s top education workshops, 20+ countries of global exhibitors, and indulgent chocolate tastes!

Acclaimed as the TOP SHOW for CHOCOLATE in North America and one of the BEST SHOWS for Chocolate in the WORLD for the past seven years running – we are proud to “Celebrate and Educate the Chocolate Lover in All” for Two Full Days in November, with you.

Location: PIER 91 The Smith Cove Cruise Terminal
Google Map to Festival Click Here

The Northwest Chocolate Festival is widely considered “the industry standard” for artisan chocolate events. And though we are the Benchmark Event for all other chocolate shows to be compared with – we have no equal show or festival on the planet.
We are simply the best show in the world for artisan chocolate.

​The NW Chocolate Festival presents the largest Education Program of any chocolate event in the world. All classes, workshops and seminars are included in your Day Pass and Weekend Pass.

​Taste Chocolate from around-the-world with a global showcase on the main exhibit floor. Talk with chocolate makers, learn from chocolate experts and watch chocolate demos by world-famous chefs and industry pros.

​Meet Cacao Farmers and the people who supply raw ingredients for chocolate making, take a cooking class, enjoy chocolate + drink pairings – bring your friends and get excited – for the greatest gathering of chocolate makers in the world today. ​


Meet the Team



Brian created the Northwest Chocolate Festival in 2008 to showcase craft chocolate makers and educate chocolate lovers from all walks of life. In 2014, Brian developed the first industry conference for the cocoa supply chain based on participant-driven dialogue and shared outcomes. Brian spends time with cacao farmers, chocolate makers and members of the artisan chocolate industry; speaking in universities and farm communities, convening cross-industry working groups on cacao quality, and advocating for transparency and social justice in the cocoa supply chain. In his free time Brian pursues the sensory analysis of coffee and chocolate, a hearty yoga practice, and hanging with his trusty canine companion ‘io. Brian holds a university degree in Social Program Development, he holds a Masters Degree in Organization Systems Design, and a Graduate Certificate in International Work Systems Renewal. Brian is an advocate for cacao farmers, craft producers and fine chocolate. He has dedicated his professional life to building community, educating consumers. and provoking social change within the chocolate industry.



Nicole joined the Northwest Chocolate Festival in 2015 as Executive Director and in 2017 assumed the responsibilities of CEO for the organization. With a decade of event planning experience and a love of chocolate, Nicole has executed all types and sizes of productions around The Pacific Northwest from food events, to weddings, corporate events and non-profit fundraisers. Nicole brings a renewed vision for growth and success of the NW Chocolate Festival and her keen attention to detail aides the Festival through the successful management of the many moving parts that keep this major international event aligned with it’s mission and purpose. Nicole’s favorite activities are running and being active outdoors, cooking delicious food, and spending time with her best buddy, Leon the dog. She believes in the importance of furthering understanding and knowledge of food sources, including cacao, and that this leads to more responsible consumer choices. She is proudly from Portland, Oregon, and shares her time between Seattle and Portland.



Sharon is a chocolate blogger that has been writing about the latest news and trends in the fine chocolate industry for the past 3 years on Her Social Media accounts (19k followers on Instagram) are the place where the online community of chocolate lovers gathers to discuss all chocolate topics. While she travels the world to explore the international chocolate market and to meet with the most relevant players in the industry, she also consults small-medium sized chocolate companies on Social Media Marketing, and writes freelance on all chocolate related topics. She is also passionate about business, entrepreneurship and consumer’s psychology. Of course, she consumes chocolate on a daily basis.



Esther Bobbin is a passionate global explorer and thrilled to be part of the chocolate community.The path that brought her to chocolate came by way of the tech industry. Her career highlights a diverse background in market research and strategy, software implementation, and budget analysis for Fortune 500 institutions, such as SAIC, and consulting companies, such as A.T. Kearney. Knowing she wanted to be more involved with the international community Esther completed her MBA in International Business, with a concentration in supply chain, from the Thunderbird School of Global Management. While working at the Mexican Institute of Astrophysics, Optics, & Electronics (INAOE) she began her chocolate journey via the “Ruta de Cacao” interviewing local chocolate artisans. Since then she has leaped into craft chocolate – working on organic certification, sourcing strategies, and now directing the 5th Annual Northwest Chocolate (Un)Conference. Esther’s Peruvian and French-Canadian roots are dear to her and she takes much pride speaking with her two young boys in Spanish. Recently the whole family has also embarked on learning French and she is excited to connect to more of the cocoa community via the bridge of Spanish and French. She is commited to amplifying the artisan cocoa industry and harnessing the power of business and innovation for good.



Lawrence Nussbaum is a life-long sustainability advocate with over 20 years of leadership helping businesses and organizations create meaningful impact through innovative environmental initiatives. Lawrence helped launch several eco-label programs in food, agriculture, wood products, textiles, and green building and develops innovative transparency tools and market strategies that reward conservation and social responsibility. After earning his Masters in Social Ecology from Yale School of Forestry of Environmental Studies, Lawrence co-founded and then directed programs for two community-based NGOs focused on market-based conservation. After building out these organizations, he then led partnership, business development strategies, and communications for an organic food company, a social impact technology start-up, and a leading sustainability consulting and certification firm. A passionate chocophile, Lawrence has traveled throughout the tropics, immersing in the cacao origins of chocolate and is currently helping to build export partnerships with producers in Brazil in support of rainforest conservation and improved livelihoods. He coordinates the education program for the Northwest Chocolate Festival and sits on the Chocolate committee of the Good Food Awards.

On-Site Team

2018 Festival Production Crew

Zachary Lyons, Production Manager
Kayla Romey, Production Assistant
Alex Mason, Audio-Video Lead
Steven Peterson, Production Lead
Rye Jago, Production Lead
Taran Ignacio, Lighting Lead
Britta Humes, Admissions Lead

Prince 'Io Ipo Ka Hekili Koa


Official Spirit Animal and cross between miniature horse and luck-dragon. Always answers to his name when you have a treat.

King Leon The Great

Ruler of All

We are humbled by his grace. All hail the king.