I am new to this forum but not new to the chocolate industry. Having patented some methods for making chocolates and molds to creating the first photos on chocolates in the 1980s to being able to create a custom made master mold from idea to finished plastic to pour chocolate in for little cost.
I have done the business plan thing, raised over $1,000,000 and took my company public and have expanded more and more over the years. I know just about everything from how to raise capital, what NOT to and who NOT to trust, to equipment, marketing to finished products for retail.
I can maybe help with any questions anyone has.
How did you get started? What brought you into the world of chocolate?
I am severly dyslexic ( hence my bad spelling) so I was always using my hand to sculpt and paint etc. At an early age I found I was also mechanicaly inclined and became a top notch printing pressman. As time went on I helped a chocolate company make wrappers and found they needed molds, since I sculpted I gave it a try and BINGO it was easy for me, One day I saw one of my molds in a store for sale!!!! I decided to make molds for chocolate mold distributors but I soon found that I get paid $100 for a mold but they make $10000s selling many of what I designed, I then decided to make molds AND make the chocolate and again BINGO! I could make a few molds but make 1000 lollipops and sell them for $2 and make $2000 off the same mold I sold for $100.
the story is much longer then that of course but its the gist of how I started. You can see my cutome molds I make for the Ad specialty industry at www.logococo.com.
If you need any help or advise I can try. Its a fun business but it can also be cut throat. I can also help make molds for start up who need help.
It will be great for this community to have someone like you around.
Feel at home and welcome!.
thanks Cesar, Ill give it my best shot.
Cool! Welcome :)
Do you produce your own chocolate?. I mean, do you make chocolate "from bean to bar"?.
Is it difficult?.
you can make your chocolate from the bean as I have done BUT to be honest? the end results are more what you add to chocolates, hazel nut oil, nuts etc.
You can buy cocoa or even bars that are exactly as you would have made so you save time and money and still achieve the same results. if you grew and squished grapes to make the juice for wine and you can also buy the same juice from companies that do the growing and squishing, why bother to do it your self, Its fun sure but its more crafty and not good for massed produced products,
we do roast nibs and add them to bars, Roasting them brings out the great flavor.
also note: you can buy small machines that will further mill the liquid chocolate from bars so you bring down the microns to a smoother texture, Meaning you can make regular SO SO chocolate into rich creamy high end just by milling it further (like aging scotch) In fact they way they found out this to be true is early in the original HERSHEYS plant the milling machine was left on by accident and after the weekend they came in to find that the chocolate was smother then ever before ( no grit etc) that is how they found that milling longer makes it smoother. HOWEVER herseys also did not want to spend to much time and so they stopped milling it so much to get the product out faster ( hence hersheys slight gritty taste)
If you melted a hershey bar and milled it in a small stone machine it would end up close to the best belgian smooth chocolate. I believe after 16 microns the tongue cant feel grit so there is no need to mill it longer then a day or two.
That kleego machine looks like a HECK of a lot of fun. I may look into getting one.
1) Do you stop making your own chocolate?.
If so, where and what kind (brand and type) of chocolate do you actually buy?.
2) When you said you roast nibs and add them to bars, do you mean you have already the chocolate and then add the nibs to it?.
for high volume we buy blocks from various sources, for small gourmet fun things we make our own ( I even make it like the aztecs did)
You roast nibs and add them to chocolate like you would a nut, it adds a great flavor and crunch
And what brand of chocolate do you buy?. Do you have any preferences?.
Welcome to this group. I am in Singapore, just starting out. I have been making moulded chocolates, and spend a lot of time filling the moulds with 2 layers of filling, just so my product will stand out in the crowd. I have got really good feedback from everyone, and am ready to make a business plan, and get into it. I would love to be able to communicate with you privately with questions re product mix, investment in space, equipment, etc. I have sent you a friend request.