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Business Briefing: Gay chocolatier opens Oakland store

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Michael Benner began making his own specialty chocolate confections in 2015 and, within two years, had launched his own business under the brand name Michael's Chocolates.

His husband, Curtis Wallis, assisted him with marketing and sales on a part-time basis.Ever since then they had largely run the business out of their San Francisco home in the city's Mission Dolores micro-neighborhood, while renting a shared commercial kitchen in South San Francisco.

His focus went from catering specialty events to adding online sales and getting local stores to sell his products.The industry took note and routinely awarded Benner for his chocolate concoctions, from bars to caramels.

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