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: 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 Julie Ehrentraut on June 4, 2012 at 9:34am

Hi everyone!  My name is Julie and I am looking to learn all about chocolate making.  I am new to the world of chocolate and would be interested in any books you could recommend to learn the basics.  I co-own an allergy-free bakery so allergy-free chocolates will be my focus.

Comment by Rodger Lester on June 2, 2012 at 7:02pm

Hello Start up Central,

Thank you for providing a place for folks like me to introduce ourselves to the Chocolate Life community.

My Name is Rodger Lester and my start up company Sheba Spices/Trading is preparing to receive our first shipment of Tanzanian cocoa beans direct from the growers. These beans are of excellent quality and are grown in a fertile region where pesticides have never been introduced. The growers are in the process of obtaining their Organic (Tan-cert) and Fair Trade (Flo-cert) certifications. I'm really excited about my relationship with the growers and my involvement in helping them improve their quality of life. If you have a interest in these beans and would like more information I would love to hear from you. Please feel free to email me. or

Comment by David Senk on May 29, 2012 at 3:49pm

Hi All, I'm David Senk. My wife Leslie and I are in the process of launching a small web-based chocolate business called "Crystal Structure Five" that will sell fine chocolate (some that we buy, some that we make) and artisan vegan confections, including a line of biscotti that we've developed. We're going through all of the learning process that I'm sure many others on this forum are all to familiar with -- having fun, drinking from a firehose, trying not to make any mistakes that are too terribly big...did we mention having fun? We look forward to sharing with and learing from all of you!

Comment by Rex Victor Puentespina on May 27, 2012 at 6:27am

Hi, I am Rex Puentespina.  Our family owns a cacao plantation in Malagos, Calinan, Davao City, Philippines.  The past four years,  we have exporting our beans together with the production of other farmers  in the region.  We want to further process our beans to add more value to our product.  We intend to make cocoa liquor/couverture to market it pastry chefs, bakers & chocolatiers in the country.  I am in charge of sales & marketing  and currently working on our business plan. With the information and help from this group, I look forward to successful business venture into the world of chocolates. Mabuhay!

Comment by Chris Brennan on May 7, 2012 at 1:39pm

Hello. I am Chris Brennan. Own and operate a Bakery specialising in high end breads and pastry in the UK and in the process of adding chocolate to our operation.


Comment by Dione Costanzo on April 9, 2012 at 2:17pm

Hi everyone.  Looking for options for chocolate bar (& bark) packaging. Wrap or box any experience and/or opinions?

Thank you!

Comment by Andrew Montroy on March 14, 2012 at 12:03pm

I just made my first blog entry! Check it out!

Comment by Andrew Montroy on March 14, 2012 at 10:58am

Hey Startup Central. My name is Andrew Montroy. I live in Raleigh NC. I want to follow my dream of starting a Chocolate Cafe. I have never owned my own business before, so the task is very daunting and exciting at the same time. All and any input is welcomed. I am going to start a blog documenting my process, so please comment on it anytime you want. Thanks and I look forward to building a relationship with the group!

Comment by Loretta on February 21, 2012 at 6:16am

Hi everyone!

I'm from Rome in Italy (but I live in a neighbouring village). I started do home chocolates in 2004, since I attended two professional courses at Castalimenti in Brescia, with the extraordinary Man and Master Eliseo Tonti. I sell them just twice a year and my customers have been constantly increasing, together with my chocolate passion.

Now I'm working to open an ecological chocolate workshop even if in Italy is very difficult change work. This is my goal for the near future!

I'm very glad to join this community. Thanks all!


Comment by Kathryn James on February 17, 2012 at 10:14am

Hi everyone!

I'm brand new to working with chocolate.  I'd actually never tempered before December 31...I was determined to start the new year doing something I'd never done before, so I made truffles.  This snowballed into realizing that someone had to eat all those truffles if I wanted to make more and experiment with new flavors.  Then I thought it might be nice if I could sell the truffles so that I'd have money to buy more chocolate with.  Now here we are, less than 2 months into the year and I find myself running a business...not that I know how to run a business!  I've been an administrative professional in the construction field, a customer service agent in a call center, a licensed counselor, a non-profit program manager, and I'm also an actress and a musician, so I know little bits about how all those businesses operate, but I've never had to pull it all together and do it for a business of my own.  Thankfully, Arizona allows me to make confections out of my home kitchen and I've found a farmers market craft fair that doesn't require the $1M liability insurance and an up-front fee to reserve a space that most places do around here.  Selling at the craft fair is helping me build some buzz, and my local friends have been very supportive.  I've registered the business with the state and I have all my health department stuff squared away, but every time I turn around there's something new I haven't considered--insurance (still waiting on quotes), taxes (it takes 4 weeks for them to process the form by mail?!), a business checking account (to open with what money?), a business plan (wait, you mean beyond, "I think I'll do those vanilla truffles again, people really responded well to those"?) ... I'm constantly feeling like I went about this all wrong, but I just can't stop!  I'm determined to make this work.

I've named the business "Sweets by 5ftLatina" and I have a website at that's still under construction and a Facebook page at that has most of my info and pictures etc.

I'm really looking forward to being a part of this community and so glad I found others I can have discussions with who share my passion!


Kathryn James


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