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.

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Members: 670
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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 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 (, 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
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.
Comment by Jeff Stern on May 20, 2009 at 10:18am
Hello, I am the owner of Aequare Chocolates based in Quito, Ecuador. We are a small artisan company dedicated to exporting fine chocolate and chocolate confections direct from Ecuador to the US. We use local ingredients whenever possible in all our products and have close relationships with cocoa farmers, cocoa processors and other local businesses in Ecuador. Our aim is to add value to the product here in country. Our website is You can also read about living and doing business in Ecuador at Please don't hesitate to contact me for any additional information.
Comment by Karen Neugebauer on May 19, 2009 at 11:42pm
Cheers! I am the Owner/Chocolatier for Forte Chocolates, a small artisan company near Seattle WA. Right now, I do everything but demand has grown in the past 2 years to the point of needing to build vs rent a kitchen and hire 1 or 2 employees. My kitchen is 16' x 16' and is a new construction that is unfinished on the inside. A nice clean slate! What I need mostly is info on how best to set it up, what machines to get ideally, and learning what pitfalls to avoid. Please visit my website at and feel free to tell me what you think of my work and offerings. So far, business is great and I have learned much in the past 2 years of operation. Right now Forte Chocolates can be found in 16 boutiques but my goal is to grow both the brand recognition and work my way into more luxury markets.My most popular item is my Sea-Salt Caramel. I am here to learn, so please tell it like it is. Thanks and I look forward to getting to know you!
Comment by erika jensen on April 7, 2009 at 10:05pm
Hi! i just joined the group :) i'm a very small business right now (me and 2 part time assistants...they do packaging and very limited production, like dipping things or "finishing" products), expanding into a commercial space that needs TONS of renovation (its actually the town's old train depot) and it will be a combined business (same building, different areas) with my husband, who's a photographer, and does all my pics and web design. you can check us out at and
i'm in the beginning stages of my biz, i'm only on year 2, but my husband has been doing his for 7 years. so yup, would love help on the transition from production-only, to more of a cafe type retail location and that goes into my new kitchen since yes, i have to build one from scratch. (like i said...the depot...bare bones!) thanks you guys!!!!!!
Comment by Ilana on March 29, 2009 at 2:33pm
excellent!!! YAY!!
Comment by holycacao on March 29, 2009 at 2:09pm
Thanks Ilana for the comment! we also had a blast. After we left your place we went to a moshav to check on our new roaster, which is close to being ready, and the owner loved the chocolate and bought a kilo in small bars!
Comment by Ilana on March 29, 2009 at 1:36pm
Hi. Well today I purchased a few kilos of chocolate from Ze'ev and Jo from Holy Cacao. They came to my place with beautiful shiny bars to taste and after one bite and sniff (!) I was sold. I have not tastedf anything like it!!!! I hope my business will grow (I am a tiny business!) so that I can use lots of their chocolate. It was a real learning experience and an eye opener. What a burst of flavor-wow!!!

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