The Chocolate Life

Discover Chocolate and Live La Vida Cocoa!


Startup Central

Are you looking to start a chocolate business? Want to talk to others who've been there or done that - or have you been there and done it and want to share with others? This is the place to discuss it.

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Members: 671
Latest Activity: on Tuesday

Startup Central

Do you make great chocolates? Know everything there is to know about tempering chocolate and cooking the perfect caramel? Able to turn out thousands of finished chocolates without blinking any eye?

Does the thought of using Quickbooks or writing a business plan sends you screaming into the walk-in begging for mercy?

This group is for you. When you join, please introduce yourself to the group in a comment on this page. Yes, I know you have a profile page, but it would be great to have you add a few words about you and your business in the context of this group. If you have a website, feel free to post a link to it. Please don't post a link to your profile page, people can just click on your profile photo to visit that.

PS. Below is the full picture I used for the Group photo. It's a chocolate store/cafe in Mexico. Those are stone mills (the kind Taza uses) to the right of the guy with his back to you in the blue shirt and notice that they are selling beans. The stone mills suggest that this store is located in Oaxaca.

Comment Wall


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Comment by Lauren Embree on February 13, 2011 at 1:50pm

Hello, new friends!  

My husband & I have been researching opening a handmade chocolate shop in our community.  We live in a good sized college town (around 75K, metro area 250K), where there are NO chocolate shops!  We are skilled amateurs with a ton of ideas & determination to create something new & notable in our area.  I'd love to connect with others on their journey! 

Comment by Huy Nguyen on February 10, 2011 at 5:55pm



As with everyone else, I'm here on a journey to creating a wonderful and successful chocolate shop. I've been in the culinary industry for 8 years primarily baking cakes, truffles, and being a sushi chef. HAHA, I know that last profession is way out there but I learned the skill as a sushi chef about 5 years ago. It's a great way to make money and being in front by the bar lets me converse and socialize with potential clientele. I had initially went to culinary school just strictly for knowledge but I believe now is the time that I jump ships and do something that I have a passion for.


I'm planning on starting off by building my shop at home and expanding to a store front within a year's time. I'll be introducing to our community new flavors, exciting and complex flavors (hopefully they don't bite me) lol, and hopefully create a large footprint for years to come!

Comment by Mickey McDowell - CocoaVana on February 3, 2011 at 2:01pm


The adventure has begun. Hopefully with some practice, confidence, luck and cash (lots) I can create a sustainable business. With all the creative things that can be done with chocolate, I’m finding it hard to focus on a single business plan. The fun part is doing all the research (plenty of tastings). I anticipate the easiest part for me would be working with machines and equipment so I’m leaning towards the bean to bar concept.

sounds easy…

…did I mention luck and cash

Regards to all,

Comment by charley wheelock on January 27, 2011 at 11:14am


I am a burgeoning chocolate maker in the Northwest. My wife and I have been running our Santha pretty much constantly for the past year. We are hoping to take it tot he next level and start a mini micro chocolate factory as soon as possible.  All we need is a huge pile of money and a space, a bunch of equipment, some marketing/branding, a web site and a source for beans!! 

Looking forward to taking this journey with you chocolate people.

Comment by Rebekka Hyclak on January 24, 2011 at 9:30pm


I've been a group member for a couple of weeks, but have been incredibly busy and am only now getting around to my introduction.

I am a brand new business owner and, wow, kudos to all of us! I have recently opened a small, home-based confectionery in Westerville, Ohio. I make hand rolled truffles primarily. My hopes are to one day have a store front and offer chocolates and cupcakes (they're my other obsession!). I am mostly self taught, save for 1 or 2 culinary classes at the local college. Please feel free to visit my website,

I really look forward to learning more here on The Chocolate Life!

Comment by Dale Anderson on January 23, 2011 at 7:56pm


Nice to be a part of this community. I have been working with chocolate for about 4 years (and have experimented with and enjoyed it for years). I have taken the Ecole on-line chocolate class, and have attended classes at the French Pastry School in Chicago and L.A. Burdick's in Walpole, New Hampshire. I have made several thousand truffles in the past few years. I prefer the more rustic hand-rolled style, and am specializing in using organic and Fair Trade chocolate. I opened a small truffle shop in December in Kalamazoo, Michigan called Confections With Convictions, and am muddling through the vicissitudes of starting a small retail shop. I look forward to sharing my sometimes scant and sometimes hard-earned experience and knowledge with others interested in chocolate, and to learning from all of you.

Comment by Patti Humbert on January 14, 2011 at 11:14pm
Hey all~ I am a recent grad of the ecole chocolat professional chocolatier course.  I am currently working in a caterer's kitchen where I also do baking.  I plan to take the business plan for chocolatiers course this summer but I wanted to get some market research done before starting that.  I love this site and I have learned SO much from it.  I am trying to learn as much as I can about this business and it is great to hear from others who have been there, done that!
Comment by Kalena G on December 1, 2010 at 5:02pm
Hello Paul:

Have an open house at your house or at a hotel (whatever is afordable) and have samples, some games, and business cards/flyers. Send out a press release (, if this is afordable to do) and try it.
Comment by Paul Mosca on October 1, 2010 at 10:00pm
Hi. I think when I joined this thread I skipped the introduce yourself part. So I'm revisiting my intro.

Two years ago I started Chocolate Seeds. I roast cocoa beans and cover them in dark chocolate. The catch is that I take the shell off the cocoa bean and keep them intact.

I am happy to share what I can. I'd love to get some feedback on go to market and sales techniques.

Comment by Robert Cabeca on August 24, 2010 at 12:52pm
Greetings! I have been making Chocolate products for over 20 years and have been in business on and off during that time. I am moving into a kitchen in a couple weeks and will be in full production mid september. I am going to be revamping everything, from logo and website to brand identity and custom transfers and boxes. This site has been a vast source of information and I am grateful for it as well as everyones willingness to share.

Please stop by my website

Best regards,

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