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: 659
Latest Activity: yesterday

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

Chocolate Grating

Started by Dale Anderson. Last reply by Dale Anderson yesterday. 3 Replies

Rotisserie Oven for Roasting

Started by Paul Picton. Last reply by Delcour Thomas Oct 17. 16 Replies

Sourcing Cacao Beans - Small Scale

Started by Eric Conceicao. Last reply by Eric Conceicao Oct 13. 5 Replies

Wholesale chocolate themed items

Started by Jo-Ellen Fairbanks. Last reply by PHLChocolate Oct 2. 2 Replies

Shared Journey

Started by David Senk. Last reply by David Senk Sep 28. 127 Replies

Comment Wall


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

Comment by Langdon Stevenson on December 28, 2008 at 7:03pm
Welcome to the group LaTonja. Happy to help if we can, but I am sure that many of us would be interested to hear about your experiences so far too.
Comment by LaTonja on December 28, 2008 at 6:21pm
Hello and Happy Holidays to all,

I was so happy to receive Clays email about this group. I'm in the final stretch of opening a chocolate store, "The Chocolate Bar", in Encino California, and have had so many questions, but not a lot of answers.
Thank you!!!!!!
Comment by Langdon Stevenson on December 23, 2008 at 3:29am
Fair call on the scale issue Tom. Of course there is nothing stopping you from growing larger under that business model is you choose to down the track. I can also understand the idea of going with a product/service (the cafe) that people can understand. I have seen first hand how hard it can be to sell something completely new. It's not for the faint hearted.
Comment by Tom on December 22, 2008 at 11:38pm
I'd say definitly leaning towards cafe style, I have bitten off more than I can chew in the past (we had Australia wide distribution for the skimboards we imported). I like the idea of something small, using a medium that people can relate to ie 'the cafe'. As you can see by the two businesses I mentioned there is broad scope even in this catagory. You could lean towards pastries using the chocolate (someone I think on here does that) or truffles (Choklat) and bars (Bitterswet) or team up with a chocolatier. A lot depends on so much like processing costs, profit margins, target market here, projected sales, location hence the research. It sound like most people spend about 2-3 years getting to know chocolate before embarking on a business venture.
Comment by Langdon Stevenson on December 22, 2008 at 11:17pm
Hi Tom, it's nice to see someone planning ahead :-) I dare say that by the time you are ready to go you will have a very strong knowledge base to work from. We spent about two years in planning for Tava and putting the pieces together. I take it that you are considering a cafe style business of some sort, or is that still completely up in the air?
Comment by Tom on December 22, 2008 at 11:03pm
Hi Langdon, not much to tell of the project. I just got a job as a senior research chemist with a small pharma company (Bionomics) It is an awesome outfit and I can see myself spending 5 or so years with them. Besides we are planning to have another child. I am content with R&D and learning about chocolate with a view to a business of some sort in 5 years or so. There are some excellent businesses I have been watching such as Bittersweet Cafe in SF and Choklat in Canada - so many business models and ideas out there.
Comment by Tom on December 22, 2008 at 7:41pm
Awesome picture, thanks Clay, it is interesting to see the artwork on the walls now.
Comment by Langdon Stevenson on December 22, 2008 at 7:20pm
Nice image Clay. Thank you for posting the larger version.
Comment by Langdon Stevenson on December 22, 2008 at 7:14pm
Hi Tom, thanks for the support, it makes our day to hear that Tava has been able to help out. Looking forward to hearing more about your project.
Comment by Clay Gordon on December 22, 2008 at 7:01pm
Tom: If you click on the photo now, the original large version will open in a new tab or window (depending on how your browser it set up). It's 2200px wide so you should be able to click on it and enlarge it even more. ::Clay

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