Sweet Earth Organic Chocolates of San Luis Obispo is changing its name to Mama Ganache Artisan Chocolates.
Co-owner Tom Neuhaus said the change had to be made to settle a trademark case brought by another American firm that already had the rights to the Sweet Earth name.
We had chosen a name that was used, and it became a trademark issue, Neuhaus said. We realized in May that we had to make a name change.
Rather than dispute the matter, we tried to look forward and be cheerful about it, he said. We wanted to pick a name that was easy to pronounce and has a nice ring to it. The change will be effective by Oct. 31.
Ganache is a French word for chocolate and cream mixed together. That makes a filling that is commonly used in chocolate candies, Neuhaus explained. And 'mama' is nurturing, he said.
The company distributes fair trade, organic chocolate in bulk as well as finished products. The company, in operation since 2005, sells to restaurants, bakeries, co-ops, natural foods stores and chocolatiers.
The company had gross revenues of $500,000 last year, Neuhaus said. The firm employs 10 full-time employees from May through September, then doubles staffing from October through April because that is chocolate season, he said. Holidays, Valentines Day and Mothers Day drive sales in that period, he added.
Neuhaus co-owns the business with his sister, Joanne Currie. A retail outlet is located at 1445 Monterey St. Neuhaus is also a food science professor at Cal Poly who teaches a class on chocolate.