Meet Javier Santiago of Javier Confectionery

Javier Santiago of Javier Confectionery at the Sigona’s 2022 Fall Food Festival.

Javier Santiago established Javier Confectionery, a small-batch, family-owned chocolate shop in 2021, but his story started many years ago when, as the eldest son of seven children, 14-year-old Javier left his family and friends behind to immigrate to the United States in order to provide for his family. 

One of Javier’s first jobs in the United States was as a custodian at a chocolate factory. It was working at the factory that sparked his love for all things chocolate. His curiosity and passion soon got him promoted to a packager, then to a cook, then to kitchen lead, and then to production manager. Each step over the last two decades has given Javier the opportunity to work with numerous Bay Area chocolate brands and perfect the art of chocolate making.

For Javier, chocolate symbolizes hope — the hope he had as a teenage boy to one day provide for his family. It also symbolizes happiness and comfort – being away from his family was difficult, but he always felt better with a bite of chocolate. Chocolate became both his escape and his passion.

Today, Javier hopes to share that same happiness with his community. His mission is to spread love and happiness with his delicious and unique flavors. He creates all his confections in-house with ingredients, such as premium chocolate, fruit, herbs, fresh cream and butter, from local suppliers including Burke’s Fine Foods, local farmers markets, Guittard Chocolate and now Sigona’s Farmers Market. He also creates a variety of products that accommodate different lifestyles. For example, aside from milk-based confections, he also offers vegan, dairy-free, and sugar-free chocolate products.

You’ve likely tried one of Javier’s gourmet creations — the chocolates are stationed near our registers where they tempt customers checking out. Some customer favorites include peanut brittle, the milk chocolate rocky road almond bar, pumpkin truffles and the festive skeleton chocolates that are perfect for Halloween. 

Two of Javier’s newest creations are our latest local collaborations: milk chocolate bars featuring gourmet dried fruits and nuts from Sigona’s! One is a a milk chocolate bar made with our locally grown, dried, heirloom Blenheim apricots. Just look at the picture and note the bits of apricot showing through – these bars are loaded with the sweet-tart gems!

The other is a milk chocolate bar filled with our all-natural, dried pineapple from a family farm in Costa Rica, and it also contains macadamia nuts. The combination is a unique and great-tasting chocolate sensation!

If you’ve been a Sigona’s fan for a while, you’re familiar with our dried, heirloom Blenheim apricots. They are a local treasure that’s becoming more and more rare as the years go by. That makes us all the more grateful for the partnership we’ve had for over 40 years with local grower Mark Gibson in Hollister to bring in outstanding, jumbo-sized, sweet-tart, dried, heirloom Blenheims that you know and love. You can learn more about heirloom Blenheim apricots on our blog. 

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