The Johnsons have known pastry chef Ramon Perez since his father, Robert Perez, was a chef at fine restaurants such as Enotria in Sacramento and Citronée in Nevada City. Robert Perez now owns Seagrass Restaurant in Santa Barbara. His son Ramon set out to make his own name in the dining industry, as an article in The Bee’s Feast section reported in May. He trained at the New England Culinary Institute, then worked his way up to being pastry chef for the David Myers Group, which operates Comme Ça in West Hollywood and Hinoki & the Bird in Los Angeles.
However, Ramon Perez longed for the quality of life he’d known as a boy in the Sacramento region, he told me. He returned and founded a gourmet chocolate business with his wife Nicole Perez. They began online sales in October. The confections caught the Johnsons’ interest and, after sampling them, the couple decided to sell them in their store at 2900 Freeport Blvd. Perez said he’s already received Facebook notes from consumers who have discovered his bars and boxed chocolates at Taylor’s.
“We are in talks with two other partners right now,” Perez said. “One of them is a restaurant, and that’s how they found us, through sales at Taylor’s.”