Has anyone here moved from the corporate world to the chocolate cafe world? I've been thinking about it for the last few years, especially after spending time in Brussels. I would also like to connect with chocolatiers in the area as well who share an interest in creating something I believe is needed here (bean to bar) and coffee (bean to cup) in the Los Angeles area. Any suggestions on making the move that doesn't require a therapist would be greatly appreciated. ;-)
I currently work as a digital artist in the entertainment business. I've been at it for almost 20 years. I'm in the early stages of building my own chocolate business (I live in Los Angeles). Although I'm not going to start out doing bean to bar, I hope to eventually. It's definitely not a small feat to switch careers. to make it more palatable, my wife is currently in nursing school and will hopefully start working in the fall. That should give me a little breathing room to get things going. I'm also focused on the business working solely out of my house. With the new cottage law that was enacted Jan 1st, we can now run a low risk food business out of the home. I would recommend taking that route if you can. Keeps your overhead waaay down. I wish I had a magic solution to jumping ship from another career, but I don't think there is one.
I'd say do as much as you can, prepare, build, raise the capital needed, and then at some point take the leap. Perhaps try (if you can afford to do so) save up at least 6 months of cash to live on, and when the time comes focus full time, and see what happens..
Hope that helps.
David, what's a "Cottage Law?" Does this law apply only to LA? I live in Cleveland. Esther
please see my post below about "Cottage Laws"
Each state is different. You will have to check with your city/county health department to see if Ohio has one.
In short: a "Cottage Law" allows for some "low risk" foods to be prepared and sold from a home kitchen. Usually this is things like baked goods or chocolate etc. Meat and Milk products would not qualify as "low risk".
Hope that helps.
I used to work for a large multinational for years and last year I decided to invest myself fully in the passion I have for chocolate. Our situations are probably different but what I'd recommend if you haven't done it yet is to spend a few days/weeks with a chocolatier to make sure you enjoy making chocolate before you make any real decision.
Other than that I wish you all the best in that great adventure!