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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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

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Comment by Andal Balu on June 2, 2013 at 10:01pm

Hi all,

This is Andal Balu from CocoaTown. We are presenting a seminar :To Bean or Not To Bean - is Bean to Bar right business for you? at FCIA in June. I am trying to find out what is the concern that normally people have when they decide to start their own bean to bar company.  Can you please share your concerns and questions?

Comment by Sherill on May 12, 2013 at 10:20am

Hi, I have started a home-based chocolate business two years ago. Had my biggest event when I first joined a local bazaar and received positive feedbacks. Hopefully I could bring this small endeavour to much greater heights. All inputs here will be greatly appreciated as I am still learning my way into this.Thanks everyone. 

Comment by Dale Anderson on April 18, 2013 at 9:29am

Does anyone have a thermometer that they especially like (that seems to maintain accuracy). I have various thermometers, classic bulb style, dial/analog, and digital, and none is reliably accurate. I tested them all by immersing them in boiling water, which should be around 212 F. The various devices measured between 180 F and 230 F. Only two out of 8 thermometers were within 5 degrees of 212 F. When I'm making caramels that need to be cooked to within a couple of degrees of the desired temperature, this inaccuracy and variability is frustrating. Does anyone recommend an accurate, reliable brand and model? Thanks!

Comment by Jackie Jones on April 10, 2013 at 5:01pm

Note:   I own a franchise of Safeguard Business Systems...and can offer QuickBooks checks at special pricing for membership.  We are owned by a $1.6 billion dollar check printing company.   No one can beat our prices.   

Comment by Leila Ellis on April 4, 2013 at 9:43pm

Hi.  I launched my chocolate confections business Marushka Chocolates in December.  I'm based in Portland, Oregon.  I sell mostly through my website and work out of a shared commissary kitchen.  I've gotten a really good initial response to my chocolates, and now I'm trying to figure out how to channel that into a sustainable year-round business.  I'd be interested to hear about people's wholesale experiences and how profitable that is or isn't for them. 

Comment by Thomas Snyder on April 1, 2013 at 4:50am

Hey! I'm Tom. I'm starting my own bean-to-bar business in Eastern Washington. Hoping to glean a lot of good information from this site!

Comment by PHLChocolate on March 30, 2013 at 2:23pm

Big thanks to Chris @ Cocoa Shak for giving me a tour of your space and taking time to chat. If you are ever in Chesire, CT be sure to check out this great chocolate shop! 

Comment by Melody Schmidt on March 8, 2013 at 10:06am

Hi All... I'm an advertising & marketing executive by day and started getting into chocolate-making about 2 years ago as a stress reliever. Now, I'm completely in love with everything chocolate - the creativity, process, etc. I mainly stay with all organic ingredients since I have a type 1 diabetic daughter. What started as a hobby has blossomed into something more with people actually ordering from me. So I'm here to learn how to work faster, streamline the process and expand the business from others who have been through it. As much as I loved the advertising biz, I would gladly give up Gucci for ganache!

Thanks! ~Melody

Comment by PHLChocolate on March 7, 2013 at 7:58pm

Hi all,

Because of my Kosher certification, my shop will be closed for Passover the week of March 25th(not the best timing as it is the week before Easter.) I decided to work out a little road trip and I am going to try visiting different chocolate shops within a 2 hour distance of Philadelphia(basically CT to DC.) I am planning on spending 2 days in NY/CT and 1-2 days in De-MD-DC.  If you would be interested, I'd love to stop in to your shop, maybe get a tour and swap stories.  I would absolutely be willing to return the favor if you are ever in Philadelphia. I am trying to expand my horizons and see what others are doing out there. Let me know if you are interested...I'd love to meet some of you in person.



Comment by Mark J Stone on February 18, 2013 at 7:21pm

Hi - I make gourmet popcorn.  I want to come out with a Dark chocolate drizzle on popcorn but I am not that good with chocolate ideas.  Do you have any - Looking for a WOW combination of Chocolate, Popcorn and ? If you have ideas and would like to submit them - I will provide a cash reward of $200.00 to the best recipe.  Email me at


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