We are still a very young company, but have been able to get going with a used Hilliard Little Dipper tempering machine, a fist full of dipping forks, & cups/boxes I was able to secure. We make cream centers and are building up the ability to produce more volume.
Short list of equipment
- Book by P. Greweling Chocolates and Confections: Formula, Theory, and Technique for the Artisan Confectioner - It's fantastic and will really help. The latest edition has info on setting up a chocolate shop.
Tempering Machine (Many will say this is optional, but make your life easier & spring for it.)
Depending on if you'll do Ganache, Cream Fondant, Caramels... you'll need different pots, kettles. You'll be the best judge here.
Molds as you suggested.
We have used a Square & iPhone to process credit/debit cards. It works fine.
Discovering that caramel will not stick to buttered parchment paper was a fantastic discovery for us.
a good thermometer or two
panning equipment is optional.
Display cases - Refrigeration may be needed
?? Humidity Controlled Display Cases??
a caramel cutter (rolling pin style) is useful, but you can get by with a knife & ruler.
assorted bowls, measuring spoons, cups, scale...
Please forgive the disjointed list. Just to re-emphasis the book I listed above has been a great help to me and many others.
Thanks for the valuable info. I will buy the book and am sure it will be helpful. When did you start your chocolate business?
Chocolate has been a family tradition for years and years, but we started selling last October.
Do you use your caramel cutter for ganache slabs? I'm just starting up a little chocolate business myself and if possible would prefer to not shell out thousands on a guitar cutter if I can just use a caramel cutter.
You can just as easily use a pairing knife and a ruler. A little bit of practice and you,ll be able to get at least 100 square in 20 cuts. Total investment $ 5
All our centers are fondant, so I can't really speak to how it would do for ganache.
With the fondant, we just use the caramel cutter to score the fondant and caramel, then cut it with a long chef's knife.
A guitar cutter is on my short list of equipment to buy though. I dream of how much time could be save with a guitar.
Do you want to start from couverture or from beans?
I am kinda new in this industry, hence would like to start from couverture.
Thanks, appreciate your honest reply.