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Me and some friends are planning on opening a small artisan chocolate business - mostly retail sales to locals.  One of them has extensive experience working with chocolate, but not creating it from the bean.

I'm looking to get an idea of how much floor space I'd need to reserve for a complete set of equipment that would take the for the roasting, winnowing, grinding, refining, tempering - and any other ancillary equipment.  (E.g, if I need steam for the "pasteurization" during roasting, I'd need a boiler)

The first question I will be asked - is volume.

That's a bit complex at this time - we would need enough equipment to cover expenses for the (small) facility that will also serve as the retail outlet, and that's where my concern is...  I of course would want to minimize equipment cost but I "get" that it is extremely hard to be profitable with the smallest equipment out there.  I believe that any surplus chocolate volume could be used in the other food business of one of the principles - so I don't think I can "overdo" it in terms of capacity with the limited space we have.  However the target location - which I believe to be perfect for this retail application, is about 1000 square feet. 

That would have to be enough for the equipment, and a retail counter, and other support areas.

Care to offer any advice?  Thank you!!!

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where are you?? what kind of chocolate do you want to make??

Thank you for your reply Cortland.

I am in CA - why do you ask?  (For cooling load purposes?)

We're interested in producing primarily dark / milk chocolate, in various flavors - mostly solid (bar), but also some filled and possibly as products products develop and our processes refined other products such as truffles.

Thanks again :)

the pasturization i beleive is done before the roasting to prevent contamination of your space.. salmonella etc.. the roasting should otherwise kill all bacterias.

are you going to use a combo machine like the cocoatown grindeur.. or a grinder, melangeur, rolls, and a concha??


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