The Chocolate Life

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Hi All,

As someone who is just beginning to learn about chocolate and dreaming about 
having my own business in a few years, I'm starting to think about where we'd like to
live and run the business. 

I'm wondering if some of 'The Chocolate Life' members might share their story on how they decided where to locate their businesses. 

Did you 'bloom where you were planted'? Did you choose where you wanted to live and move there? Or did you research markets and determine a location that looked appealing for your business? 

Thought it would be interesting to get some perspective from CL members.

Thanks,
Jeff

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Hey Jeff! I started my shop in my home town. Seemed like a good choice for me because we were traveling so much to visit home and family when we lived in other cities...so we decided to come home. Luckily there wasn't a lot of competition here...seems harder to get people to "understand" good chocolate here in the southeast (or at least our area)...Plus it is really humid and hot...summers are very slow for a chocolate business. But I think anywhere you go will have it's ups and downs. You just have to make it work for you. If you have a good product, people will come. Good luck! Happy to help however I can...if I can!
Wendy,
Thanks so much for your response. Do you have a retail shop or do you do wholesale? I've thought about adding gelato to my in-store product mix in the warm months to offset the drop in chocolate sales. What do you think about that?
Jeff
Hey Jeff! We have a retail shop and are about to move to another location where we will have more space and visibility. We plan on serving pastries along with our chocolates to help out with our horrible heat waves. I do some wholesaling... to other local businesses but hope to start doing more of that. Gelato sounds nice! It is really popular now! Ice cream/gelato seem to always be a draw around here, as long as the location is right and convenient for customers. Wouldn't be as tough as adding pastries like we plan to do...we will have to have 2 kitchens...one for chocolate and one for baking. Can't have flour and heat in the same room with the chocolate. Could cause many problems.
Let me know if you have anymore questions.... ~Wendy
Thanks Wendy...sounds so interesting. Hopefully I'll make it to your shop someday and be able to see all that you're doing! Sounds exciting!
Wendy,
Thanks so much for your response. Do you have a retail shop or do you do wholesale? I've thought about adding gelato to my in-store product mix in the warm months to offset the drop in chocolate sales. What do you think about that?
Jeff
Hi Jeff,
My husband and I were looking at opening a store in Nashville but have since moved back to Australia..When we were researching to open in the states we spoke to a lot of people around town about what they would like, best places to eat out etc...it really helped. But the most important thing is to write your business plan.

Something staggering like 80% of failing businesses dont writ a ebusiness plan. Im only saying this because we had the idea of a chocolate cafe at the beginning and by the time we had thoroughly finished our research we had changed the type of store and location completely, for the better. We were amazed!

Hope it goes well for you
Michelle-Jo
Thanks for your information Michelle-Jo. I'm interested to know what you learned that discouraged you from opening a chocolate cafe. What type of store did you finally open? Do you have a website? I'm trying to learn all I can! Good luck down under!
Jeff
Hi Jeff,

The chocolate cafe just didnt meet the target market in the area we had chosen....we realised a chocolate and wine bar would have worked better. Also with the cafe my ideas were way to broad and the latter choice being more specific was aimed at meeting the need of the community.

I havent opened one yet but intend to in the future....not sure which way to go yet as I have to do a new business plan in the area we now intend to open....I have a website in construction and intend to start selling small to see how it goes in this community and go from there..

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