The Chocolate Life

Discover Chocolate and Live La Vida Cocoa!

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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.

Location: Worldwide
Members: 635
Latest Activity: on Monday

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.

Discussion Forum

Grinding & winnowing

Started by Beth Bromund. Last reply by Landen Zernickow Aug 24. 13 Replies

Shared Journey

Started by David Senk. Last reply by Landen Zernickow Aug 21. 123 Replies

making my own transfer sheets

Started by Shanta Reddy. Last reply by Diane A Holland Aug 19. 4 Replies

Problem with first batch and need advice.

Started by Jack Meyer. Last reply by David Senk Aug 19. 17 Replies

Ball Mill For Chocolate

Started by Harald. Last reply by Clay Gordon Aug 17. 22 Replies

Sourcing cacao beans

Started by Landen Zernickow. Last reply by Harald Aug 13. 4 Replies

Chinese Tempering machines

Started by Andre Banks Rocha. Last reply by Colin Green Aug 12. 15 Replies

Make your own v. resell

Started by PHLChocolate. Last reply by Milford Dennison Aug 2. 1 Reply

Sales Reps

Started by PHLChocolate. Last reply by Mark Allan Jul 28. 1 Reply

Comment Wall

Comment

You need to be a member of Startup Central to add comments!

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

Ciao!


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,
Mickey  

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

Hello,

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

Hello!

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, www.hyclassconfections.com

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

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

Hello!

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 (prweb.com, 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.

Cheers,
Paul
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 www.robertschocolates.com

Best regards,
Robert
Comment by Leena Caligiure on August 23, 2010 at 7:27pm
Hello all! Glad to join this group, for Im not too new at making chocolates but just new to the full fledged business of it! Started in the chocolate industry 11 years ago. Took a break for some family time and started up again about 2 years ago in Florida. My lifesize chocolate footballs were in the 2009 Superbowl and we did all the chocolate centerpieces(with help from Norman Love Confections) for the 135th running of the Kentucky Derby.
Last October we opened our very first store front in a great location in Valrico, Florida. Everyday is a challenge filling orders, shelves, ordering ingredients, packaging, and not to mention juggling 3 kids! Its exhausting but it's my passion. My only complaint is that I dont have too much time to play. I love to work on new flavors and products but everything else keeps me too busy. We have a couple of part timers, but being a new small business( and not to mention a really slow summer) budget is always our main concern. Looking forward to a great fall season, putting out some unique hand crafted confections!
Comment by Dawn Swank on August 8, 2010 at 11:13am
Greetings to all my fellow chocophiles, especially the EcoleChocolat grads!!! I am in the process of setting up shop under the protection of the newly-minted cottage law here in Michigan in order to test market demand for quality, artisanal chocolates. I am presently looking for a way to use single origin chocolates in making my own "Girolle deco rolls" for use in chocolate tastings. I thing they will elevate the small amounts of chocolate optimally needed for a tasting into something elegant. Here's a link if you'd like a visual http://www.rainbowsugarcraft.co.uk/shop/Choco_Roll.htm
My dilemma is that when I pour the tempered chocolate into the pan and allow it to set up, it does not STAY tempered all the way through, I'm assuming due to the thickness. My apologies-I have a feeling I am asking for some very elementary advice. Thanks for your patience!!!!
 

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