The Chocolate Life

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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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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 Beth Husband on August 27, 2011 at 11:25pm

Hi guys!

I just posted this same intro in the "Allow Me to Introduce Myself" forum, before finding this group, so please forgive if you come across it twice.

I've been a member for some time, but as more of an observer than participant. As I'm considering jumping into the deep end of chocolate pool, I think it's time to introduce myself and start participating.


I am the owner of Whimzy Chocolates, which I operated for several years out of kitchen incubator in the suburbs of Houston, TX.  I sold primarily at weekend arts and craft markets and through special orders. My products line is largely made up of what I call "familu favorites", caramel pecan clusters, caramel apples, various barks, lots of chocolate covered tasties, and hand rolled truffles. I managed to develop somewhat of a following and frequent sold out of products before the end of an event. 

Unfortunately, just after my husband and I made the decision to relocate out of state, I recieved three different requests to wholesale, one of which was from a major national department store.


It's a year later, I'm happily settled just outside of Nashville, TN and the chocolates are calling me. I am strongly considering resurrecting the business, but on a larger scale, with the goal of renting a location and building out my own commercial kitchen. My initial targeted market would be a few coveted wholesale accounts, special event orders, and the weekend markets, with an eventual growth to a retail chocolate boutique.


I welcome any words of wisdom or caution, and would love the input of those who have gone down this road before me. I'm in the processing of identifying the costs involved and my question of the moment is "what do  I need, that I don't know I need?"


My primary big piece of specialized equipment has always been the tempering machines. Is there another, chocolate specific piece of equipment that has improved your production time and makes life easier?




Comment by Audra Ford on August 6, 2011 at 9:45pm

Hello,   I'm Audra starting out a new business in hand dipped chocolate and baked goods in northern CA. I'm currently online and saving up capital for my shop. I'm renting space from a commercial kitchen and looking into selling at farmers markets and events to get my chocolates out there... any advice would be appreciated thanks, I'm redesigning my website to match the new logo i created but the website i have now is


Comment by Bhuvan on August 5, 2011 at 4:17am
Would you be interested in Single Origin cacao bean from Tolima near Ecuador region. Please email me for more details and specification. "bhuvan.thaker(@)"
Comment by Nick Styles on August 3, 2011 at 12:10pm

Hi everyone, my name is Nick and I'm looking at starting a small bean to bar business in China for local consumption.  This site is extremely useful and the information from all the members has answered many questions I had.

Comment by Dragan on July 28, 2011 at 4:51am

Hi everyone! My name is Dragan Rajkovic, I am from Serbia (Europe) and I would like to start small -scale production of chocolate dipped pretzel rods. i would appreciate any suggestion and advice concerning small-scale/homemade chocolate tempering, melting, dipping, cooling, storing..


Comment by Patrick Pineda on July 28, 2011 at 3:54am
Dragan kako si brate... mismo ovde u kaliforniu, bas mi se svidja tvoija idea. posalime message da vidim ako mogo ta te pomognem. jeli si u beogradu?
Comment by Andre Skibniewski on July 26, 2011 at 1:58pm

Hello everyone!. My name is Andre and I am very happy to join the group. Together with my Canadian partner I am planning to establish a small chocolate business (home made Belgian pralines). I am very new to the world of chocolate - completed one day semi-professional training - but I need a lot of help and advices. I am preparing my business plan - can anyone help me to make a list of equipment (might be second hand) good enough for a "vertical start up"? I live in the Netherlands, but the business will be in Poland. I am looking forward to your reactions. Best regards, Andre

Comment by Jayne Hoadley on July 16, 2011 at 4:46pm
My name is Jayne Hoadley and I have a new chocolate business.  Currently we are online and take our products to the community through tastings about town.  I am glad that this group is here so that I can ask some (or many) questions.  My website is
Comment by Robert Rigo Kilonzo on July 7, 2011 at 6:53am
Hi all, I recently fancied myself a potential chocolatier and took up to creating a small business. My interests include yoga, cooking, reading, yoga, yoga, yoga .......... oh I forgot I already mentioned that... Yes, I love yoga. I am currently in the first trimester of establishing the chocolate candy business and even though I have been a member of this site for barely a week, I must say that the support I have received here is sterling.    Thank you all for making this so seamless for me and I hope we will get to know each other more as time goes.        God Bless.
Comment by Dione Costanzo on June 27, 2011 at 7:45pm

Has anyone used Bakon 123 melting trays for tempering and holding?  Looking for feedback on efficiency and accuracy.



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