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: 626
Latest Activity: yesterday

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.

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Comment by Lee Reizian Holmes on August 10, 2009 at 9:19am
Hi Everyone!

I own a boutique chocolate company called Art By Chocolate. We design and create flowers & leaves. Our niche in the chocolate business is that we can create specific color palettes for our clients. We work with a wide range of clients from Chefs to Brides. We love what we do and we invite you to visit us at www.artbychocolate.com
Comment by Maren Muter on July 17, 2009 at 1:39am
From the first time chocolate was given to me with one simple request from my father, "try this" I was hooked. Making chocolate and enjoying chocolate became a fun past time for me as a child. Most everything I learned was trial and error. I presented my mother the inverted lava cake 30 years ago on her birthday (a messy runny frosting over a very hot chocolate cake) and enjoyed every last bite.

Last weekend however I was asked to give a chocolate presentation at a wine gala - before I went I was playing around in the kitchen and created four quick ganache type sauces. They turned out extraordinary! I brought them with me and 100 out of 100 people who tried it wanted to buy it.

This is the problem I have.... I have not ever jarred a chocolate sauce or cream or ganache of any kind. This whole week I have been seriously over cooking my chocolates in a attempt to jar these sauces. I scortched the heck out them in the pressure cooker, boiled them to death on the double boiler, and am lost - I had originally made them using a tempered (liquid) chocolate and added heated cream and butter. I am just looking for a safe way to process this product and truly, truly appreciate any help.
Comment by Ruth Atkinson Kendrick on July 15, 2009 at 8:17pm
Hi. My name is Ruth from Ogden, Utah. I am an old time candymaker (emphasis on old). My mother and I wrote HPBooks Candymaking many years ago. Last year I wanted to 'up my game' and took the advanced course at Callebaut in Montreal. I have changed from making fondant based creams, hand dipped, to molded bon bons and using colored cocoa butters. I am enjoying the new challenges this presents. Every day I tell myself that if I just got my hand in there, I could get the chocolates dipped faster than with a fork, but I will learn! I also make caramels and toffee. My web site is www.sweetchocolot.com, but it is in the process of being redone. I am home-based and this works well as I have very little overhead. Utah has a law that allows this. We are inspected and insured just like the big boys but don't have to have a commercial kitchen. Not having retail space is good and bad. I would like to have my products displayed, but right now, I sell direct, or wholesale to some high-end stores. I do rent a commercial kitchen for my toffee, as I make it in larger quantities and don't want the mess at home. I co-op with some gals that make granola. Our busy seasons are opposite, so it works well. I have had a Hilliard 80# melter for 30 years, and bought 3 Savage 50# semi-automatic tempering kettles,used, last year. I do not want to move the chocolate to the commercial kitchen, as I have everything the way I want it at home. I mostly use E Guittard single-origin chocolates or Amano. It is nice to have Amano less than an hour away. I hope to learn a lot from all of you as I started this just 11 months ago.
Comment by Dove Chocolatier on June 8, 2009 at 11:05am
Hi Ever One I am Sharon and I have been A Dove Chocolate Discoveries Chocolatier for over a year, I love It,I call it "My Sweet Life".
And I Love The Chocolate Life and all the Info I have gotten from everv one.
http://www.dove-chocolate-discoveries.com/chocolatelovers
Comment by David Sawyer on June 7, 2009 at 1:03pm
Hello B, The SBA has been and continues to be a wealth of great resource.I was in retail for a highend hifi firm,started at the bottom and went straight up for eight years.I have good grasp of that.Getting a loan that's been difficult, no one wants to lend to a startup.Your local office is just waiting for you to drop by or call.They keep pushing me and keep my hopes up.The best of luck, you're futher along then me. regards David
Comment by MeLissa Rocco on June 7, 2009 at 2:10am
Hello everyone! I am, perhaps, in a little different vein than many of you, but I have started up a new chocolate business with Dove Chocolate Discoveries (tm). This is direct sales opportunity where I get to share products using premium Dove chocolate (like martini mix, brownies, etc.) via chocolate tasting parties. I have been doing this for about a month and am really enjoying it. I am looking forward to seeing if there is some information in this group that I can translate to my business or, at the very least, educate my customers with. If you'd like to check out my website, I welcome you www.dovechocolatediscoveries.com/Colorado

Cheers!
Comment by B on June 4, 2009 at 5:52pm
Hi, my name is Barbara, and my company is Organic Kids Candy. I make handmade organic milk chocolates called SmileyO's (www.SmileyO.com), which I have been selling for the last year at the local farmers market. I've been renting space and now am ready to take the next step to do this "for real". I am looking for guidance for efficient production/co-manufacturing, and of course, how to run a profitable business!
Comment by David Sawyer on June 4, 2009 at 12:03am
Hey,David is my name and very few clues about chocolate. Doing the SBA course,worked in retail in another life. Need to do it again,this time for myself. Found this site hope it pans out. So far good energy and heathy debate.
Comment by Keerran on June 1, 2009 at 11:02am
Hi there, I have started a very small chocolate business from home . I work with sisters & husband as the financial person!
We do wedding door gifts, chocolate fondue & confections as well. Come & visit my blog at http://sistachocolats.blogspot.com
Comment by Eve on May 28, 2009 at 12:03am
I'm part of Sweet Earth Chocolates along with my husband Tom and his sister Joanne. We're based in San Luis Obispo, CA, and make a wide variety of products using fair trade, organic chocolate. We're four years old and just outgrowing our current space. In July, we'll be opening our own retail shop for the first time.
 

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