"Bar To Bean" - The Un-Making Of Dandelion Chocolate January 16 2013

Dandelion Chocolate Bar-to-Bean from Cat Trick on Vimeo.


Celebrating Dandelion Chocolate's first official full day of business on Valencia Street!

HHG Holiday Pop-Up January 11 2013

We were lucky to be invited to move into a wonderful fish bowl store space at The OC Mart Mix for the month of December.  We kicked off the month with a busy event to raise money for the Orangewood Orphanage by donating back 10% of our sales.  That set off a great month of wonderful customers, amazing stories, and lots of great gifting.  It's good to be back in San Francisco but we sure miss our friends at the Mart.  Enjoy our photo retrospective. (Photos by Zachary T. Haskell).



Meet the Founder Anne McClain - MCMC Fragrances January 09 2013

Came up on this sweet video of Anne McClain, Founder of MCMC boutique fragrance house in Brooklyn, NY. Take a look and consider trying one of her perfumes, candles, and men's fragrance.

Perfect Pairing #12 - For the Modern Minimalist December 21 2012

Printed Leather Coin Pouch $39

Lifesaver Stud Earrings $85

Perfect Pairing #11 - An Excuse to Get Cozy With Your Man December 19 2012

MCMC Dude #1 Beard Oil $69

MCMC Dude #1 Candle $49

Lodge Stripe Throw $139


Perfect Pairing #10 - For the Generous Host(ess) December 18 2012

Dry Beans $10

Moroccan Ladel $28

Marfa Brand Soap $11

Perfect Pairing #9 - For Your #1 Dude December 17 2012

The Hill-Side Tie 4-Color Gingham $89

MCMC Dude #1 Beard Oil $69

Marfa Brand Soap $11

Perfect Pairing #8 - Something Special for your Sophisticated Sister December 16 2012

SUZAN Flat Hammered Bangle $116

Printed Leather Coin Pouch $39

Perfect Pairing #7 - For One Who Appreciates Rare Treasures December 15 2012

Vintage Heath Ceramic Ash Trays $36 - $49

Palo Santo Wood Bundle $15

Perfect Pairing #6 - For Your Cozy Cabin Lover December 14 2012

Lodge Stripe Throw $139

MCMC Candle $49

"Little Toothpick" Mother of Pearl Pocketknife $69

Perfect Pairing #5 - For The Hibernating Home Body December 13 2012

Dry Beans $10

Moroccan Soup Spoons $10

Linen Tea Towel $24

Perfect Pairing #4 - For Your Lady December 12 2012

Printed Coin Purse $39

SUZAN Acorn Necklace $230

Perfect Pairing #3 - For the Modern Host(ess) December 11 2012

Baguette Board, Handmade Penn. $108

Kinfolk Magazine $18

Marfa Brand Soap $11


Perfect Pairing #2 - For The Rugged Man In Your Life December 10 2012

Foot Soldier Blanket $169

Rosewood Barlow Knife $49

Marfa Brand Soap $11


Perfect Pairing #1 - For the "Down Home" Chef December 08 2012


None Of Your Beeswax $10

Dry Beans, Yellow $10

Diner Journal $12

Moroccan Lemon Wood Ladle $28

Wild Sage Honey $39



ML Brown - San Francisco, CA December 07 2012

Mat Brown honed his leather working skills while apprenticing with his friend Dillen Ailman while she was hand crafting a line of handbags for A Détacher in New York.  He trained with her for years learning about techniques of meticulous hand stitching and crafting leather goods to stand the test of time.  He eventually started his own leather goods company called ML Brown and he has since crafted unique and beautiful quality leather goods for many brands including Freemans Sporting Club, Taylor & Stitch, and Ernest Sewn.

Mat now resides in San Francisco and kindly allowed us the opportunity to hang out and watch him produce our exclusive Half Hitch wallets, clutches, belts, and key chains and also snap off some shots of his home studio.  

Dandelion Chocolate - San Francisco, CA November 26 2012

What a treat to visit the old Dandelion Chocolate factory in the Dogpatch!  We snuck in right before their opening in the Mission to check out the original space.  The tall ceilings and broad windows showcase the gorgeous view from their little chocolate factory nestled in an unassuming building among lofts and offices. Only the aroma of chocolate through the hallways confirmed for us that we were headed in the right direction.  We toured with Alice Nystrom, a long time employee and she gave us the 411:

Dandelion was started by Cameron Ring and Todd Masonis in a friend's garage.  They began with a few bags of beans and just started roasting them up and they got lucky, their first batches were delicious.  

In their factory we learned about their step-by-step process to roast the beans in tiny batches in what looks like a countertop toaster oven.  Then they are ground like peanut butter and mixed and churned with sugar in a conche for a 3-4 days, which refines the cacao particle size and smoothens it.  Then the chocolate goes through a temperer which finalizes the texture, flavor and molecular structure of the chocolate.  Finally the bars are poured into molds and shaken to remove any bubbles.  It takes many days to produce each batch, and each batch yields a small amount of bars.  Each is hand foil wrapped and then put through an old fashioned red machine that wraps it with pretty paper.

Their small batch, “bean-to-bar” chocolate sets them apart from other bars.  Their simple recipes are very pure with 70% cacao and 30% sugar (no additives) so are flavorfully focal on the beans and the texture is resultantly velvety.  Dandelion buys their beans directly from farmers and packages the bars with handmade recycled paper from India’s garment industry, which has been printed with metallic inks in tight unique patterns designed by hand.  Each 2 oz. bar is hand made, molded, packaged and signed.  Check out the three bold flavors and snatch up a half dozen bars to hand out as hostess gifts this holiday season the packaging alone is a treat!

Jess Brown - Rag Doll Making Process November 21 2012

PeaceBomb - Dropped & Made in Laos November 15 2012

In the Naphia Village in Laos the Mine Advisory Group combs farmland and collects metal shrapnel from the 250 million bombs that were dropped on Laos by the U.S. during the Vietnam War.  It is a dangerous land because 1 in 3 bombs that were dropped did not detonate and are still land mines today.  Since 80% of Laotians are subsistence farmers (eating what they harvest) the danger of the undetonated bomb litter presents a food security issue and a barrier to economic development.

A resourceful villager figured out how to salvage the bomb metal to craft aluminum spoons by melting the metal in an earthen kiln and then cast the molten metal in hand sculpted molds of wood and ash.  He taught the same technique to 10 other families.  Article 22 has recently been helping the villagers with their product development and sales in the global marketplace.  For making these bracelets farmers and artisans are paid 4X their local market rate.  

Proceeds from each bracelet purchased at Half Hitch Goods will help clean up between 1-5 meters of bomb littered land.  Help us buy back the bombs.For more information please watch the 10 minute documentary:

Butterbean Studios - Jalama, CA November 07 2012

On our way up the coast we dropped by the quaint Jalama Road in Lompoc California where there is a family-run farm stand merchandised on an old piece of farm equipment.  The stand is run by a collective of women who strive to build community in the valley by teaching neighbors and passers by about heirloom growing, living off the land, old ways of doing things, and being gentle on the earth.  

We visited Jalama Road to pick up some dry beans, beeswax, and honey that are grown and harvested by the Pata family.  The Pata’s home is the first built on Jalama Road where the family has been harvesting beans and running cattle since 1912.  The beans are dried and packaged by Erin Pata in a sweet muslin bag that she hand screen printed with the nostalgic Jalama farm stand logo that she designed out of her graphic design studio: Butterbean Studios.  The honey is raw and unfiltered courtesy of the honey bees that visit the wild sage of the Jalama Valley and transport their nectar back to the hive while pollinating crops on their way.  

We were supposed to meet Erin at the farm stand but traffic wasn't on our side and we missed each other but she kindly left the Half Hitch Goodies on her screened in porch all beautifully packaged up.  Of course we will meet up next time.  Thanks Erin!

Find out more about the Jalama Road Farmstand and Butterbean Sudios

Proprietors of Farmstand, (from left to right) Carla Malloy, Grace Malloy, Erin Pata.

The Doka Truck & The Beginning Of Our Journey October 12 2012

I recently purchased this funky 1985 VW Vanagon Doka Transporter that is perfect for road trips.  Legend has it that the closest these things ever got to the U.S. was Canada because in the 80’s Volkswagen determined that there was no market for this weird model of truck in the U.S.  Well this rare and well-built machine inspired us to take an inaugural haul through the deserts of southern California collecting Half Hitch Goods along the way.

We packed our Wolfhound “Mason”, some basic provisions, and started in Joshua Tree for a few days of camping.  We explored the Yucca Valley and the Mojave desert to our heart's content and we even picked up some great vintage hand thrown studio pottery.    We visited the iconic architecture of the Marmol Radziner House in Palm Springs, the Salton Sea, the Integratron in Landers for a "Sound Bath", and then journeyed out to the deep canyons of Anza Borrego Desert State Park.  

This journey marks the first of many to come, we will travel near and far and do what we do best: collect special things and meet great folks along the way.  This journal will record our journeys and introduce you to the artistic and enterprising folks we meet who make Half Hitch Goods a reality.

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