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.

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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.

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Comment by Deborah on September 16, 2013 at 4:54am

Thankyou so much Andal, I have emailed you



Comment by Andal Balu on September 15, 2013 at 11:21pm

I have a slide presentation that we typically use when we give seminars on bean-to-bar that I can share with you.  Please email me your contact information to

Andal Balu

Comment by Deborah on September 15, 2013 at 10:09pm

Hi from northern NSW! (hello fudge 'n stuff!).

I make and sell my chocolates at local farmer's markets and am venturing into agricultural shows now! Hitting the big time :)

This weekend I'll be doing a little chocolate tasting at a really small town show.  I thought I'd talk a bit about how raw cacao choccies are made and explain bean to bar etc  I will give out some samples of my chocolate but I will not be set up to do demos. This will serve as a run through for a bigger show I will do a choc making demo next month.

Any hints on other things I could do/say that would be interesting to a choc loving crowd?



Comment by Gabor Borjan on September 14, 2013 at 1:59am


I started making chocolate bonbons at home, and gave all of them to friends and the family as gifts.

The typical amount of chocolate an average hobby chocolate maker intends to process is between 200 grms and 1500 grms.. usually 200-500 grms.

  Available tempering appliances are designed to process kilograms of chocolate at a time, so they're not suitable for small amounts. The cost is also prohibitive, from USD 1000 to several thousands of dollars for a tempering machine.

Then came the idea: a small, easy- to- operate appliance with automatic temperature control that won't cost a fortune but able to make even small amounts of chocolates. I designed a small appliance from steel, and used a standard GN /GastroNorm/ form factor stainless steel pot as a melting pot.

Now i would like to start the manufacturing of these devices, if KickStarter will accept the project.

Comment by Michael J Bacci on September 12, 2013 at 3:33pm

Hello from Sacramento,

I'm super excited to have found this group!  I think I'll spend the rest of the day reading everything I can in this forum. :)

Two years ago I would have never guessed I would be diving into the chocolatiering community.  At that point, I was finishing up MBA studies and fed up with my engineering job.  Since then, I've been on my own in a split world of entrepreneurship and chocolatiering - both have been harsh mistresses.

I'm currently polishing up my financial models and business plan and hoping for small-scale commercialization by the end of this year.

Excited to dive in!

Comment by matt black on September 11, 2013 at 7:09pm

Hi i have a question that I need help with. I will soon be selling my chocolates at teh local Farmers Market but am undecided on the name. I have a cpl names I have narrowed it down to but I need an opinion regarding one of them. The name in question is

"Matthew Black Couvertures" My goal was to keep the name simple but at the same time a little different from others. My question is - All of my chocolates are made using Couverture Chocolate but would I be misusing the term Couvertures or misrepresenting myself by using that word to describe my Chocolates?? All opinions are welcome and I look forward to reading them. Thank you. 

Comment by Amaleah Brigitte Black-Smiley on September 7, 2013 at 7:33pm

Hi, I m Amaleah

Im in ORegon, US

Doing R&D and selling off my better batches locally. (got into my local health food stores into their local raw OG sections as I am using unroasted beans and  processing under 120 degrees)

I am aware and following the current discussions on "raw", and am purchasing "raw OG beans", but careful with my labeling as I am not shaking hands with the growers yet! Still buying nibs through the middle men. Interested in sourcing through Mexican collectives, if anyone knows of any offering OG beans that are staying at lower temps in their processing.

Currently playing with Cocoa Town table top melangeur and sussing out compatible way to conch with that. Having fun with hand tempering.

Cheers !

Comment by Ben on August 14, 2013 at 3:16pm

Hey all,

Just getting off the ground with a small hand-crafted online and artist fair chocolate business this fall, in Buffalo, NY.  This site has been invaluable so far.  Just happy to be a part of an interesting group of people.

Comment by Dale Anderson on June 12, 2013 at 8:27am

Thanks George. This works well for simple drizzles. Some of my elements are more complex pipings that I want to stand higher off the truffles (and sometimes I have an additional dusting or other garnish that I want to adhere only to this element (so the truffle must be "dry"). Any other thoughts on after-the-fact piping of decorative elements, and how to keep them from blooming? Thanks!

Comment by Al Garnsworthy on June 11, 2013 at 5:39pm

Dale, temper the drizzle chocolate and pipe over the truffles whilst they are still "wet".


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