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.

Location: Worldwide
Members: 671
Latest Activity: on Tuesday

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 Emma Smith on September 15, 2012 at 2:11pm

Hi Chocolate Start Up Enthusiasts! 
My name is Emma- I have a little-but-expanding-quickly chocolate company, Zimt Artisan Chocolates. We make chocolate from unroasted cocoa beans, in ridiculously small batches (for example, we are going to make 51 of the Sugar & Spice variety this afternoon!). Zimt uses only low GI products to sweeten chocolate. 
We are going to be moving out of the back of a cupcake shop, where we currently operate, into a much more spacious facility, hopefully by mid October! 
I have contacted Clay for help in the logistics and am very much looking forward to all his wisdom. 
Looking forward to being an active member of this group!

Comment by Trish Gowans on September 14, 2012 at 11:07am

Hi everyone! my name is Trish and I have been making chocolates for friends and family for a couple of years.  I am hoping to set up my own chocolate business and am relieved I have found this group, which will hopefully provide support and most needed information.  It's a very daunting (but exciting) prospect, setting up your own business, but it's nice to know, with this forum, we are not alone.  Packaging and logo design seem to be my biggest headache at the moment.  These are both necessary but can be expensive when starting out.  Any ideas on where to purchase good quality, reasonably priced packaging would be most helpful!

Comment by Kristen E Baker-Walker on August 31, 2012 at 3:20pm

Hi everyone!  My name is Kristen Walker and I joined this group just now, while joining the Chocolate Life about a month ago.  I'm looking forward to gleaning information and hearing everyone's comments.  I started my chocolate company last May and have been working it slowly.  I've been doing just festivals and fairs, while taking orders.  My new store is set to open October 6, with a soft opening the entire week before.  I am trying out a new brand of chocolate, Davis Chocolate, made here in Mishawaka, IN.  It is a Fair Trade chocolate, so that makes me feel ok.  I'm hoping the flavor stands up well.  

What does anyone one suggest about opening a retail store?  Mine is small to start out with so I won't have a lot of overhead.  All suggestions and comments are appreciated!  Have a great day!

Comment by Phillip LaMaire on August 31, 2012 at 3:02pm

Hello Everyone, my name is Phil and I joined this group because it seems to have a lot of good information. My wife and I are wanting to start a Chocolate & Candy shop and looking for some input on some of the do's and dont's of the business. I have found a couple of suppliers, and tried the chocolate, but was interested if anyone had any more ideas of where to buy good quality Chocolate and equipment. We have a few things I create now in the kitchen and trying on friends and family, thats going well. Looking forward to sharing the chocolate experience with everyone.

Comment by Cassandra Hurst on August 20, 2012 at 9:56pm
Hello everyone, my name is cassandra
I just joined the chocolate life a couple of weeks ago and love it....such a wealth of information and great source of contacts! I am starting a wholesale cocoa distributing company in Houston Texas. I will be supplying high quality beans from Brazil. I was wondering if anyone has any suggestions on where to find a good digital scale so that I can breakdown 62 kilo bags into smaller quantities to my clients. Thank you, email me at
Comment by Reverend Pearson Hobart-Beaumari on August 17, 2012 at 4:41pm

Hi Y'all,  I have joined this group to help me find info and resources.  At  The Asheville Institute of Advanced Well-Being one of our focuses is on super foods that support Well-Being.  As such we are currently developing a line of non-candy, delicious snack foods centered around certain super foods, including organic, fair-trade cocoa beans.  We have a particular interest in the FONMSOEAM co-operative's Cocoa.  I look forward to the helpful insights this group will share. 

Comment by Darial C. on July 9, 2012 at 2:41pm
Thanks Clay for inviting me to join.
I am here because I want to help my wife launch her candy bar line (please excuse me for not knowing the lingo). I am marketing consultant by trade, but chocolate is new to me. I look forward to any help you experts can provide.
I think I'll start a thread so that I can keep my questions organized.
Comment by Kristi on June 27, 2012 at 2:16pm

Julie, I also agree with Christopher that Grewling's book is an excellent resource - like the bible for the artisan confectioner!

Comment by Kristi on June 27, 2012 at 2:14pm

Hi Everyone, I have been a member for quite a while and mostly just read everything.  But I am looking to be a little more involved in the "chocolate" community now that I have finished my service term in the military.  I am excited to be venturing into the next phase of my "chocolate life" by starting a business.  I am just working on my business plan and still looking for a location.  I found the perfect place for what I want but at the time the owner wanted too much money for it so I keep looking hoping that something will come up or that the place I had my sights on will go down in price :) Anyway I look forward to conversing more with everyone as I delve into this adventure.  Cheers :)

Comment by Christopher M Koshak on June 4, 2012 at 1:47pm

Hi Julie,

I love the book Chocolates and Confections: Formula, Theory and Techniques for the Artisan Confectioner by Peter Grewling. It is a very good resource for all things chocolate and candy related.


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