To start with I have to give all the writers in the forum a big Thank You for all the interesting and valuable information. I doubt I will ever find another site that is so informative.
My wife and I recently enrolled ourselves in an online chocolate making course and we are at the end stage of the course. This course has been quite helpful, where you learn about the cacao, chocolate history, tempering techniques, supply sourcing and on how to make your very own Truffle, Ganache, etc.
In time we intend to either start a chocolate stall in a mall or supply gourmet chocolate to retail shops who simply import chocolate. However in order to take this step, I would like to hear your valuable advice, especially on what types of equipment will be required. So far we have been tempering chocolate by hand on top of a marble, i would assume that we would require a tempering machine, melting machine. The chocolate will be made at home mainly at first and then supplied directly to shops etc.
Thanks in advance for your inputs.
Would love to hear your comments?
I have received so much valuable advice in this forum that I feel a need to "give back" where I can. However I don't do the really clever stuff that so many in this group do so I held back. But I DO have a market stall and manage to pull in around $600-$1000 a day from that stall.
I could not afford the equipment required for so many chocolate products so decided on panning. Pans are relatively inexpensive and I now have two of them with which I can make up to 70Kg per day (packing is another story!)
Your stall will give you access to all sorts of people and their ideas and also allow you to test your ideas and products.
One REALLY critical thing is to consider who you will sell to and select a market in an area that will give you best returns. I abandonded one market that was giving me back less than $200 a day shifting to one that gave me $600-$1000 a day. The difference was the demographics of the area (the new one has a population with higher disposable income and lots of tourists) and also the time of opening hours. A common "objection" I encounter is "it's too early for chocolate". So I selected a market that opened at 10:00am and closed at 4:00pm as opposed to 7:00am closing at 2:00pm. Made a huge difference!
Hope this helps a bit and if you need more info I'll be pleased to comment.
Thanks a Coli, thats a great piece of information especially on the demand side of things.
Can you clarify a few points.
1. What kind of chocolate do you make using the panning method. I was under he impression, panning is used if you want to coat nuts with chocolate, sugar etc. Can you use the panning method to make Truffle, ganache and so on?
2. What advise can you give for someone who is on a limited budget, regarding the list if equipments that is required for chocolate based products?
You don't make "chocolates" with panning. You are right - it's for coating centers such as coffee beans, nuts, freeze dried strawberries, razzcherries and the like. No, you can't make truffles, ganache etc.
BUT - to do the more "fancy" stuff you need expensive equipment if you are to do this in commercial quantiies. You can do some REALLY nice creations for a small outlay but if you want to make money you need to splash out.
I was not really in a place I could do that and I needed to be profitable quickly so I decided on panning.
Others can help you on equipment needed and prices. Clay has access to some great gear at more than fair prices. But it can still get costly. Union Standard in New York have good deals on second hand gear too although that proved too costly for me down here in Australia - but it should be far better for you. And this website has great deals on second hand gear quite often.
Not sure I can say much more except "good luck!"
Great stuff...thank again for the valuable information.
With limited budget, i have some idea on equipment i need for initial setup. I will take a look at this an other sites for second hand gear. I tried to look for some on ebay, but its hard to find second goods for this industry on ebay. I guess people are quite happy with what they are using. Appreciate your feedback.