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.

Location: Worldwide
Members: 627
Latest Activity: 4 hours ago

Startup Central - Sponsored by Savage Bros

Since 1855 Savage Bros. has manufactured confectionery machinery. Their chocolate and candy making equipment are recognized worldwide for long lived quality and reliability. From these 19th century roots in the industry, Savage Bros. strives to meet its customers’ equipment needs with well designed and manufactured machinery. They specialize in taking new and growing businesses to the next level by streamlining their production process.

Quality chocolate is one of Savage Bros' passions, thus they offer a wide array of chocolate processing equipment for the artisan chocolatier — from chocolate melters and temperers to single mold filling workstations with depositors and built-in vibrators. And more!

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

Sales Reps

Started by PHLChocolate. Last reply by Mark Allan 4 hours ago. 1 Reply

Packaging PB Cups-Any suggestions?

Started by PHLChocolate 4 hours ago. 0 Replies

Grinding & winnowing

Started by Beth Bromund. Last reply by Morten Jessen 13 hours ago. 8 Replies

Shared Journey

Started by David Senk. Last reply by David Senk 22 hours ago. 117 Replies

Rotisserie Oven for Roasting

Started by Paul Picton. Last reply by Jack Meyer yesterday. 15 Replies

Cutting jellies

Started by John Duxbury. Last reply by John Duxbury on Wednesday. 2 Replies

making my own transfer sheets

Started by Shanta Reddy. Last reply by Michelle Jul 22. 1 Reply

Comment Wall


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

Comment by Susan Van Horn on July 23, 2010 at 5:56pm
Hello, Everyone! Hi, Juliana! I'm another recent Ecole Chocolat grad and have loved every minute of the learning curve! I am now seriously looking at purchasing my first machines to produce my chocolate truffles and have been on this site for awhile now. Trying to educate myself and not get paralyzed by all of the choices out there! Of course, my brain is now pinging with too much information so, I am just that. Paralyzed!

I've been having a lot of interest from caterers, restaurants and the general population for my goodies but, I am concerned with getting too ahead of myself and not being able to produce what is required. So, is there some happy medium regarding equipment purchasing? I don't want to turn around and have to purchase more equipment after my initial purchase but, I can't yet go the big ticket machines. Ideas anyone? Hilliards Little Dipper to start? Or....?
Comment by Ek Chuah on July 20, 2010 at 2:14pm
I'm studying to be a chocolatier and hope to open my own shop inside the next two years. I'm very excited to be apart of this forum!
Comment by B. Ridenour on May 11, 2010 at 8:32pm
For years, my family has made a particular confection for the Holiday Season to give as gifts for friends and clients. My wife and I have continued this tradition and made these things for the clients of both her business and mine. These things defy description; I can only say that you’ve never had anything like them.

This last Holiday Season, I made the suggestion that we try dipping them in chocolate just to see how they would turn out. The first batch was small, 1 dozen units. Consumed ravenously by myself and my wife. Both of us were very impressed at what had been created. The second batch was much larger, 170 units were made and several friends were asked to try them and give their honest impression them. The reviews ranged from “a perfect balance” to “OH, MY GOD! I JUST HAD A CHOCOLATE ORGASM!”. Everyone agreed that they had never had anything like them and would pay money to have more. One person I gave them to has requested that I make batches of them for the members of the rod and game club that she manages.

We feel that we may be onto something here and we would like to make an attempt to market these things on some scale. Both my wife and I have more experience in the realm of food service than we care to admit to. So we’re no strangers to the level of commitment and work involved in a launch. I also have quite a bit of experience as a dessert chef and have a small amount of experience working with chocolate (though it was many, many years ago). I have questions and hope that some of you here will offer some guidance and advice.

The chocolate that was used was Ghirardelli’s milk chocolate chips. No attempt was made to temper the chocolate as I was not really concerned with the texture or appearance of the finished product. This next batch will be made with attention to that detail. Is there any reason why this chocolate would not work? To put it another way: Does it matter that the chocolate that I use comes to me in the form of chocolate chips?, or should I be looking to a different source?

Is there an adverse affect on chocolate to go from a melted state into a refrigerator to speed up the setting?

Further, I have had a great deal of difficulty finding suppliers online. Mostly chocolate suppliers. Is there a resource for finding this information? I live close to NYC and one would think that there are plenty of suppliers in this area, though it seems as though there is some secret password or handshake that one must know to find this kind of information.

Last of all,is there a company that makes a small scale enrobing system? Something that would fit into a 12x15 foot room?

It is not my desire to have a store or any kind of retail operation. The goal here is to supply this confection on wholesale basis to mom and pop delis and caterers and whoever else I can pawn them off to.

Your advise and opinions would be greatly appreciated.

Comment by Nina G on May 9, 2010 at 5:41am
Hi all,

was very lucky to stumble upon this website as I was doing some research online yesterday. I have been a stay-at-home mom for close to a year and am hoping to have a home business in gourmet chocolates up and running soon. Will be taking a chocolate making course at the Barry-Callebaut insititute in Dublin, Ireland next month (I live in Gibraltar). Any information/tips/advice from anyone is much appreciated! Agree with Harvey below - there's a lot of great stuff out here, and I'm really excited about my new business!

Can anyone recommend temping machines chocolate mould brands available in Europe?

Thanks :-)
Comment by Harvey Shugarman on May 4, 2010 at 2:45am
greeting chocolate lovers..
I am not going to share my story, as it is very late, and did not want to be rude by joining and not saying howdy.
I want to thank Clay with creating this beautiful format.
great stuff here, and I thank all of you.
Comment by Juliana Bounds on May 4, 2010 at 12:40am
From past posts to the latest one, if I counted this right, I am the third Brazilian to join the group. Love these ideas, love the discussions. I have been making chocolates for a while -- especially truffles and bonbons -- trying to mix much of what I learned in Brazil, and keeping my fondest memories alive. It seems like that will be my path as I try to take thsi chocolate business a little further (or a lot. I'd prefer a lot!).

Any way, I figured I wanted to cook and share my culture. Chocolate is my medium. And yes, I live in American now (in Oregon, actually). Thank you all for the comments and generosity in sharing your experiences. I have learned a lot, and I am sure, will learn even more.
Comment by Frank Haberman on May 1, 2010 at 11:17pm
For all the Chocolate lover's lovers out there, Visit us at or for your Candy Foil needs.

You will find we have over 30 colors and or designs to fill almost any need. They are available in Candy Bar Size, 3" x 3" , also 4" x 4" and 5" x5" squares. We supply chocolate makers from all over the world. Best of all, you can order as little as 100 sheets with no small order fee. Most oders are shipped the same day. Our Foils are made in the U.S.A. and approved by the FDA, so need to worry about unknown chemicals or dyes.

Drop by the our web sites to see all the beautiful colors and designs or send an email to
Comment by Mike Flynn on April 27, 2010 at 11:01am
Hi everyone,
I've just Graduated from the Ecole Chocolate January course so now am looking into starting my own business. I'm located in Ireland and we apparently) are one of the biggest consumers of chocolate in Europe - hopefully good for me :-)

Looking forward to following this group and picking up good ideas. i've never run my own business and its quite daunting looking at all i have to try and learn so i'll greatfully accept any advice and comments.

Comment by Dave Elliott on April 21, 2010 at 9:25am
call me the consummate neophyte. I've turned out one batch of homemade chocolate and have never worked in the for-profit sector. But I love an adventure and my research to launch a chocolate start-up is starting to pick up some steam. I'm really excited to find this vibrant community of knowledge.

PS Clay, that's the main Mayordomo shop on the corner of Minas and 20 de noviembre in Oaxaca.
Comment by Sirius Chocolate on April 15, 2010 at 7:47am

Sirius Alchemy here with Sirius Chocolate. Ive been totally engrossed (obsessed) with the startup for my concept brand for many moons, and now after much adieu, spring is on the way ans seeds are sprouting!

Sirius Chocolate is hand-made in small batches in Northern California, USA. I got into chocolate from the particular vantage of raw foods, with an emphasis on superfoods (human nutrition) and herbalism (ethnobotony..), which inevitably led me into fine culinary, business, and all that comes with both.

Now my interests extend to heirloom/wild/rare cacao variants, terrior, production techniques... I am particularly interested in the science of passion, studies on the effects of processing on aspects such as health-benefits and flavor (ex: fermented beans are several times more psychoactive than unfermented, yet roasting deteriorates Phenethylamine...), and in the possibility of preserving ecological diversity through chocolate!

As an artist, I place a greater importance on process than product, and seek the most expansive view possible as to how all things inter-relate, socially, economically, and ecologically.

Thus, my short-term focus is to create an outlet to market what Im up to, thus I am investing my attention in the business end of things, and in branding. However, in the long-term I plan to "bring it all together", coupling life-style marketing with conscious sustainability.

This, at least, is my dream.

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