The Chocolate Life

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Hi Everyone,

After reading many discussions on this website for almost a year, I am finally introducing myself.  Howdy!

I am in the nascent stages of starting my business.  By training, I am a philosopher.  But in a year off from academia I fell into chocolatiering and then quickly designed, packaged, and sold my product (my one product) in Los Angeles (to retailers and to individual clients).  By 6-month's end of being "in business" I stopped production and moved to Houston to continue my doctoral studies in philosophy.

Now I am in Houston and I can no longer ignore the chocolate itch.

This time around I'd like to begin by doing things differently.  In LA, I did everything.  EVERYTHING.  It was all very micro-batch.  Recipe R&D, tempering (by hand), dipping, shelling peanuts by hand, designing brand aesthetic, label design, printing labels, cutting labels, hand-wrapping confections, marketing (and more marketing, social media, etc), selling wholesale, selling retail (like to people in hip parts of LA out of my leather satchel but also at pop-up markets), and building my network in the gastro-arts.  It was fun because I was looking for something to do, but it was not very sustainable.  By the time I had to leave LA I was burned out, as you could imagine.

This time I would like to begin by finding someone who can help on the production end, and perhaps getting a tempering machine just to automatize that end of things.  I'd also like to find someone to print my labels for me, and if I decide to re-brand (now would be the time) to find someone to design for me.  Costs of all that, though, can be prohibitive.  And I like the aesthetic I've created.  Of course, there's the name recognition (if I were to offer my oeuvre in LA).

So right now I will begin navigating the acquisition of licenses and permits here in Texas.  I will finalize some products too and finalize packaging (I no longer wish to print and cut my own labels).  All very nascent still.  At some point I will begin writing my business plan as well.  And all in the foreground, are my studies in philosophy.

I am currently most interested in and reading through the archives for: 1) where to acquire packaging for small scale production, 2) business plan guidance, 3) thoughts on (new world) (soft) nougat, and 4) finding a small capacity tempering machine (~10lbs).  

Nice to finally and formally introduce myself.



Roma Chocolates

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Replies to This Discussion

What an outstanding combination: chocolate (emotional) and philosophy (rational), I guess it will be interesting to see the outputs!!!

Anyway if I can help.....which kind of tempering machine? Batch or continuous?


Hi Giuseppe,

Nice to meet ya!

That's certainly one way that my two main lines marry together!  Perhaps too one day I'll start a "Philosophy of Chocolate" research project.

The Delta or the X3210 would be nice, as far as tempering machines go.  But I think my current budget is more on par with a used Hilliards Little Dipper.  I'm looking for around 10lb capacity and I don't have much to spend.  Any leads anyone?



Hi, I have a hillard tempering and enrobing machine, if interested I can send pictures and price, Pittsburgh pa. Joe Clark

Hi Joe,

I'm interested.  Email away!




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