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.

Location: Worldwide
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 Cathy Kuepfer on June 24, 2011 at 3:58pm
We use a Hilliard machine for all of our chocolate work. We use Peter's Chocolate. We have a lot of trouble, some days more than others, with the chocolate thickening as the day goes on. We turn the temperature up slowly as needed (starting at 89F.) Even at 91F. , somedays it gets too thick to work with properly. We do not have an easily climate controled area to work with. Is this our problem? What is the ideal temperature of the work area?  I think humidity might be a great part of our problem, but our area is very small, and heats up considerably with the two airconditioners used for the cooling tunnel, as well as the chocolate machine itself. I am trying to convince the owner that a dehumidifier would help, but he feels that this would only add more heat to the room. Any suggestions or comments would be greatly appreciated. I forgot to mention that we are in the centre of a stip mall and have no access to an outdoor wall in the area we dip.
Comment by Cathy Kuepfer on June 23, 2011 at 4:31pm
I have worked in a small chocolate store in Port Elgin for a number of years, with no one to really talk to about some of the intricacies of making chocolates. I wasn't sure where to go to find answers to some of my questions until I stumbled across this website.We are looking to expand and I have become production manager and am excited to get new ideas, as well as learn more about easier and better ways of doing things.
Comment by Adam Chandler on June 22, 2011 at 5:38pm
my partner and i are in the midst of opening a chocolate business in vancouver. we'll be making a variety of pralines, truffles, caramels and confections for the wholesale and retail markets. having recently acquired a raw warehouse facility to use for our production, we're currently stumbling through the design and permitting phase of the project. still finalizing our equipment selection, i look forward to sharing in this wonderful resource as we stumble along through these opening months.
Comment by Craig Boreth on May 26, 2011 at 4:28pm

Hey Everybody. 


I did a soft launch of my first chocolate line--Twice the Vice Spirited Chocolates--late last year, and I'm going to start full-on small-scale production in August in Santa Monica, CA.   


I'm making truffles potently infused with top-shelf liquor (different Scotches, tequilas, bourbons, etc.).  I'm really excited about a 9-piece box of White Russian chocolates I'm making with a Big Lebowski theme: The "Helluva Caucasian" Collection (featuring an image of The Dude on each chocolate, and packaging art by Lebowski Fest poster artist Bill Green).


Look forward to learning from everyone's experiences, and sharing my own. 


If anyone wants to check it out, my website is




Comment by Emily Woloszyn on May 25, 2011 at 10:13pm
Good Evening... my husband and I are getting ready to put our recipes together this weekend for our shop. The shop will open mid to late August. I have been to chocolate classes at the CIA and have done minor work in a chocolate shop as well. I enjoy coming hear and doing research for more education. We hope to be in the shop next month practicing....
Comment by Aylen Lyra Doucette on May 18, 2011 at 4:29pm
Is there a machine out there that can make powder out of raw cacao superduper fine so I can make super smooth raw chocolate?
Comment by Victor Yao Apeletey on April 28, 2011 at 9:46am

Hello chocolate friends around the world.I have a special need.I come from Ghana,West Africa.We produce the world's best cocoa.Unfortunately, Ghana has not been able to put any strong value on our cocoa.90% of Ghana's cocoa and sold raw to foreign markets mostly Europe and North America. I want to establish a chocolate factory that can produce specialized dark chocolate and add some more value by embedding in it toys just like the surprise egg chocolates to serve the West African market of 350 million people.

I have already secured the structure(warehouse) for the business.Also available is the cocoa itself.Now,I need a consultant or someone knowledgable in the chocolate business to tell me a-z the kind of machinery i need to help produce the chocolates.I have made arrangement with a toy manufacturer in China to produce the plastic toys and ship to Ghana.

I have done research about the market potentials and the results are fantastic.80% of my target market would be kids and young people between age 3 and 16. The rest are adults that have interest in toy collections.

Please if you are out there and knows which machinery I would need from start to finish,kindly help me out.This concept would be very successful here in West Africa especially with the finest dark cocoa which we have in abundance. My email address is and skype is legacy3g


Comment by Danyle Johansson on April 26, 2011 at 9:51am

Welcome Stacy,

I also took Ecole Chocolat's online class and enjoyed it completely.  The best part about working with chocolate is that all of your mistakes still taste great. lol.

Best of luck to you.


Comment by Arun Bhargava on April 26, 2011 at 2:48am

Hello Stacy,

Welcome to wonderful world of chocolate, and sure you must be really enjoying.

Can't stop telling you, but you can check our website for quite a few stuff, that you can use for making chocolate. We welcome small orders, and our turn around time is not too bad.


(hi Clay, I am not sure, if I am voileting any posting rules by publishing our company website. Please feel free to remove my post, if it is so.)

Comment by Stacy Narrow on April 25, 2011 at 7:06pm
Hi Everyone!

I am new to blogs, startup central and the chocolate life....hope to get the hang of it soon! Just started at Ecole Chocolat's professional chocolatier's program and having a blast. After 20 years of designing office space and selling furniture, I am now doing something fun, creative and tastes great!

Looking to source products, possibly equipment, working on business name, much to do! Really excited we found this site and blog!

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