The Chocolate Life

Discover Chocolate and Live La Vida Cocoa!

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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.

Location: Worldwide
Members: 658
Latest Activity: on Wednesday

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

Rotisserie Oven for Roasting

Started by Paul Picton. Last reply by Delcour Thomas Oct 17. 16 Replies

Sourcing Cacao Beans - Small Scale

Started by Eric Conceicao. Last reply by Eric Conceicao Oct 13. 5 Replies

Wholesale chocolate themed items

Started by Jo-Ellen Fairbanks. Last reply by PHLChocolate Oct 2. 2 Replies

Shared Journey

Started by David Senk. Last reply by David Senk Sep 28. 127 Replies

wholesale cacao beans/nibs

Started by Lisa R. Last reply by Valadi Krishnan Jaganathan Sep 24. 33 Replies

Comment Wall

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Comment by xinhong liu on January 5, 2010 at 10:13am
Kathleen,

Thanks for your suggestions and your nice comments! It's very valueble to me!

In the new year I want to do few things including joining the event' London Fine Food Show'. Also I'm thinking to turn up in Shanghai food show in Nov time. There are lots to be do to prepare for events. I think I might have been too ambitious but I'd like to try. The thing is I have a full time and intensive job- software developer occupying my mind and time for the most of day and I'm hoping I can get out of it sooner. It's difficult to balance between work and my passion. I need this relative well paid job to pay for my 'hobby' but hopefully one day my hobby will turn up something that could support my living. It can not be a overnight magic as I understand but how long it's going to be? I give 3 years time. It could be longer than that what do you think?
Comment by Kathleen Vreeken on January 5, 2010 at 9:58am
Xinhong, The chocolates in your photo look very beautiful. The very first thing I've done to get started has been to find a commercial kitchen to work out of. I then started to find ways to "show" my creations, like shows, fundraisers, tastings etc. Next, I started "knocking on doors" to offer to create specialized candy for events. - I wish you much luck on your ventures.
Comment by xinhong liu on January 5, 2010 at 9:26am
With your inspiration I have decided to bring my business from 'underground' to 'above-ground'. As I'm a only new starter and sold very few boxes I guess there are lots I could learn from you. Please share your experience with others.

Xinhong
Comment by Annick Vliegen on January 5, 2010 at 9:04am
Congratz, from me in Belgium I hope it will go well, i'll keep my fingers crossed for you! Keep up the good work
Annick
Comment by Kathleen Vreeken on January 5, 2010 at 7:57am
Greetings to everyone. I am FINALLY taking the plunge and planning to take my "underground" candy business into the mainstream economy. Right now I'm hoping that the millions of details needed to get this venture "of the ground" will not take away the pleasure of working with the chocolate and will not turn it into drudgery. Whatever happens, I'm looking forward to getting to know you all.
Comment by Annick Vliegen on December 29, 2009 at 4:19am
Good luck Brad in the choses you will make along the way
Annick
Comment by Brad Reardon on December 28, 2009 at 5:22pm
Hello. Fellow new comer here. I have been playing with chocolate for years. Just now actually doing something useful with it. My chocolate escapades were enough that my girlfriend's family offered to buy what they hadn't finished at our Christmas party. I'd say it's a good start, but a start alone as I'm sure we all know, gets us nowhere.

I am looking at starting a confectionary with someone else doing the baking. I am currently planning for two lines of chocolates. One being the mass produced, here are all the cool machines and toys I can use. The other being all hand made.

I am still probably two years out from actually starting full scale, but for now I am a startup, that has too many hobbies to focus on running my own business. Also I am an odd duck that I don't care to actually make the chocolate. There are enough different varieties out there, that I chose to make something unique out of the chocolate, rather than trying to make a unique chocolate. That may change, but hey I'm 27 and I still don't know what I want to be when I grow up.

Thanks in advance for the help I'm sure I will get from you, knowingly or otherwise. :)
Comment by Dirke Botsford on December 26, 2009 at 10:52pm
Thanks Karen & Annick. I have learned the hard way when I didn't follow my gut, thus the reason I am pursuing this new venture and getting out of the high tech world. The passion is there, the hours comes with the territory of running the show, even in the print (graphics) industry which I am currently in, it can be long hours. I really want to start small and hone my skills and find the exact direction that will work for me and a business. I guess in the beginning it looks daunting at what needs to be done, I will just have to figure it out as I go as you said. Fingers crossed....
Comment by The'a on December 26, 2009 at 10:06pm
hello, I'm Aulia, still new also in this friendly circumstances. love to read all post, at least I've gotten new information also advice from the members. this is my second years running on a small cookies and chocolate business, it's too small I think, because with this two hard years experience I still running it by offering personally or "mouth to mouth". on the last month of this year, I'm trying to promote it wider on fb. but the common problem is with the price, I still confuse to state the price actually, I do really want to state it the same with the market, but doubt that people wanna take mind coz it still new, and they don't know how does it taste. so, I decided at a month ago to make it lower than the market, even if I knew that I got lower profit. the consequence, it's hard for me to manage the capital back. which is the price of several ingredients goes up, specially towards new year event. and when I wanna set up the price higher, I always think that I still have a small customer now and afraid they would run to another store^_^. I do really need a help, would you mind giving advice, thank you^_^.
Comment by Annick Vliegen on December 26, 2009 at 9:57am
Hello Dirk, I can only agree with Karin, you must follow your guts and do what your heart tells you and it will be ok!
We had a what you can call a fancy french food restaurant for 20 years and we have always done everything ourself and follow the same road. We had to close down 2 years ago due to the economic crisis in Belgium. But i still have no regrets.We had to work hard but we where happy.
 

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