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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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.

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Comment by Dirke Botsford on March 2, 2010 at 5:48pm
Thanks Emily, looks tasty. I will pass on the link to my friend. Much appreciated.
Comment by Emily on March 2, 2010 at 4:59pm
Dirke, have you looked at Lagusta's Luscious for vegan chocolate ideas? Her truffles look great, and I've contacted her before with questions about her products. She's very friendly and responsive as well.
Comment by Shelley Fields on March 2, 2010 at 4:35pm
If anyone that is currently in business would be so kind as to answer these questions, your answers would be so helpful to those of us starting out! No dollar amounts are needed unless you are comfortable sharing, as they can be so helpful!

1. How did you get into chocolate and when did you actually start your business?
2. What was your original strategy?
3. How did that change and why?
4. What did you think would happen vs what really happened?
5. What is your vision?
6. Who is your target market?
7. How did you figure out how much money you needed to start?
8. Was it enough?
9. How long did you think it would carry you? Did it? If not, why?
10. How long before you were in the black?
11. What was the best advice you received regarding your business?
12. What are the most important lessons you learned about the business side?
13. How big a price did you have to pay to learn that?
14. Knowing what you know now, what would you do differently?
15. What do you like the most and the least about your job/business? Was that a surprise?
Comment by Dirke Botsford on March 2, 2010 at 4:20pm
This is how I support cocoa growers/buyers and sellers and thought you may like this route? It helps out other entrepreneurs in developing countries.

I support entrepreneurs by investing in there business temporarily by helping to provide them with capital for investment. In my opinion it's a great way to sustain and create new ventures in cocoa.

If you are not familiar with it please check it out - Look under fundraising and then food. I am in no way affiliated with this organization, I just think it's good.
Comment by Lizzy Steffen on February 22, 2010 at 4:41pm
Howdy! I've had a small cake & confectionary business in Peoria Illinois just under a year now and I'm loving it. I've been amazed at the growth of my small business. I just do it part time but there are no "good" chocolate shops here. I made my own website and it's always a work in progress but here it is:
I'm happy to be here!
Comment by Sacred Steve on February 10, 2010 at 6:58pm
The challenge is the pretty much, NO Vegan Certifier will certify anything with normal cane sugar in it, since it is a standard industry practice to use BONE CHAR as a filtering agent in the cane sugar industry!
Comment by Duffy Sheardown on February 10, 2010 at 6:44pm
Any decent dark chocolate will only contain cocoa mass, cocoa butter, sugar and - probably - soya lecithin so you should have no worries there. Check the ingredients list to be sure
Comment by Dirke Botsford on February 10, 2010 at 6:24pm
Since there's interest in Vegan chocolate anyone have or know where I can get recipes for them? A friend is vegan and asked me to make some, I just need somewhere to start. Any help would be appreciated. Cheers
Comment by Sacred Steve on February 10, 2010 at 6:12pm
Hi Melody,
Welcome to this incredible site! :-)
Sacred Chocolate makes certified vegan chocolate. It is also raw, so I am not sure if that is of any interest?
Sacred Steve
Comment by MelodyB on February 10, 2010 at 5:36pm
Hi All! I am interested in starting my own chocolate line. This web site is fantastic. Does anyone know where to buy vegan chocolate?

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