Sara B. Clair
Class of 2017
Sara B. Clair was born to Jim and Jane Bancroft on July 17, 1958, in San Francisco. After attending Head Royce School, she went on to earn a BA from Stanford University in 1980, and a MA in 1982.
While working in catering during high school, her dream job was to be a recipe tester and write cookbooks, but then discovered working with chocolate. She was soon hired specifically for her desserts and chocolates, and began to work on many new flavor combinations and improving the shelf life of fresh cream truffles. This led her to start The Ultimate Food Company while still in college making truffles under her Silver Elegance brand and delivering them to high-grade retailers and gourmet markets in the San Francisco Bay area.
As she was building her company, she met Pierson Clair III, Candy Hall of Fame Inductee Class of 2012, who worked for Blommer Chocolate Co. at the time and they married in 1983. They have two children, Pierson IV and Elizabeth.
After signing a lease for factory space in Redwood City, CA, and expanding her product line and customer base, she joined Retail Confectioners International. She eventually sold her company to another local manufacturer and in the 1990s worked as an independent consultant on a variety of product line extensions for the confectionery, beverage and snack industries. Sara and Pierson moved to Brown & Haley in 1997, where she has focused on product line expansion and product development of their Mountain and Roca brands.
Sara is passionate about mentoring young professionals and students interested in entering the confectionery industry. In her role as Chairman of The Confectionery Foundation since 2011, Sara has impacted over 500 students who attend the Sweets and Snacks Expo, but attributes the success of the program to the many industry volunteers who participate each year. She is particularly proud that both her children have contributed to the industry.
As a 2017 kettle Award recipient, Sara has worked tirelessly for the industry having chaired the western Candy Conference and continuing to serve on the Board of Directors. She is also a member of NCSA, AACT, IFT, and NCA CandyPAC Platinum Level Donor.
Besides chocolate, Sara’s other passion is expanding public access to Tacoma’s shoreline and connecting all seven miles with a walkway/bikeway. She has been active with walk the waterfront and the park district since 2007. Sara is Co-Chairman of Because Parks Matter and a member of the Board of Directors for the Greater Metro Parks Foundation.
Sara’s commitment to education has led to her serving on the Board of Directors, Scholarship Committee and Urban Studies Department Advisory Board for University of washington, Tacoma, and on the Board of The French Pastry School of kennedy-king Colleges of Chicago, where she also sits on the Curriculum Advisory Board.