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: 12 hours ago

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 on Friday. 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


You need to be a member of Startup Central to add comments!

Comment by Karen Neugebauer on December 25, 2009 at 1:13am
Dirke, Yes and no. Owning your own business is so hard for lots of people because it takes 2 equally important things to succeed: Passion and the willingness to become Jack of all trades (otherwise known as drive). Most people have the passion, but are not willing to work the 18 hour days and often due EVERYTHING themselves when needed. Others have all the business knowhow, but don't have the passion needed to get you on top of the many mountains you need to climb.

The best advice that I can give you is get used to admitting that you don't know something and then learn the parts that your business needs now, then move on. Learn to embrace the mistakes and study them until you can APPLY what you learned to future tasks. Starting the business is when you want to make lots of mistakes so that you still have the freedom to change. The larger, more established your business becomes, the more costly mistakes will be. Also, ask all of your "stupid" questions (because there are often the most important to be clear on and are never stupid), learn from experts in your field and from your customers and competitors, but DON'T change the core of what makes you and your product yours. Know what this is from the start and wright it done (one short sentence is best) so you can refer to it when you start trying to change too much.

As far as the mountain of regulations for food production, it turns out that it is more or less common sense, just spelled out in lots, and lots of words. You will make it through and find that it is a lot of repetition and forms to fill out.

Bye the way, I would like to say that it gets easier as you grow, but it does not. Only the roles you play change. I like to joke that every time I solve one problem, I create at least 2 more issues that I have to deal with :-D It is all part of the fun of owing your own company. My passion for chocolate is why I keep showing up in the morning and go to bed most nights bone tired, but with a smile....
Comment by Dirke Botsford on December 24, 2009 at 8:09pm
Business hurtles, one after another. As I write my business plan and investigate further the data required to do it right, the stats and loopholes you have to go through is killing me and I haven't even committed to anything and have only just begun. Is this how it is in business, not ever owning one? or is it just the initial stages?

I understand the health implications if not done correctly but man is there a lot of permits and licenses you need. this may just be where I live? any insight from those that have gone through this?
Comment by Annick Vliegen on December 11, 2009 at 10:09am
I am looking for new brands of Chocolate.
I have a online shop with delicatesse and it is not such a big succes . So knowing everybody in the world lies chocolate I had the idea to have a makeover of my shop and sell all kind of chocolates from all over the world.
Now, I am looking for producers who make special blend, and chocolatiers who make unusual chocolate bars from all over the world.
Is ther some one who can help me?
My shop is located in Belgium so I must also consider the kind of chocolate the locales are used.
If you know of some good producer and chocolatiers you can contact me at
Thanks for helping me out on this
Annick Vliegen
blog (sorry only in dutch)
Comment by Pedro Caetano Magalhães Neto on November 22, 2009 at 9:30am
Hi every one,
My name is Pedro Neto, I’m cocoa producer in the Brazilian northeast region. Pioneering we started producing fine flavor varietals cocoa beans 7 years ago. Among those years, we have selected 8 varieties.

We are looking for a long term partnership with chocolate producer from the beans to produce together a high quality chocolate.
Comment by Dirke Botsford on November 22, 2009 at 12:15am
Hello, Fairly new to the chocolate world although I have never immersed myself into something as deeply as I have making chocolate, I just wished I had discovered it years ago. I am loving it so much that after some practical training I have every intention of opening some sort of retail location. I only just found this section as I slowly start to navigate the site and am so happy to see there are plenty in the same boat with similar questions. Lots of great info here so far, so I will stop typing and continue reading....just wanted to say Hi!
Comment by xinhong liu on November 21, 2009 at 5:42pm
Hi, I'm Xinhong and new here. I'm from UK.

Glad to find evreryone here. I've found ' Advice for start-up machines' extremely helpful to me because I'm thinking to start my artisan chocolates business within the next 12 month and want to share all your knowladge and experience with me. Hope you'd like to help

Write more later.
Comment by Giuseppe Marzagalli on November 18, 2009 at 12:31pm
Who wants to start up a great business setting up a new Corner of superb Probiotic Swiss Chocolate? Taste & Health!
Let me know
Comment by Kristin McGary on November 17, 2009 at 9:33pm
I am extremely excited and grateful to have found you all!! I'll be posting lots soon, must read all the great things already written. And pack for a trip...
I'm new to cacao, I feel as if I've been kissed by the Cacao Diva! I'm being given spectacular opportunities to share my passion for healing combined with exquisite cacao, mindfully made with the finest ingredients and highest vibration! And I'm being called to create a business, creating sacred healing chocolates accompanied by incredible meditations. I'm looking for guidance in many ways. I will keep you posted after I read what is already being offered.
I'm grateful for your experience and wisdom!!
Blessings of Peace, Joy, Abundance, Love and Chocolate,
Kristin Grayce
Comment by Heather Garza on November 13, 2009 at 1:59pm
Hello, My name is Heather Garza and I am new here. Congrats to Eric on his shop. I would love to find out how you did it. I have been making chocolate creations for years a gifts and am being inundated with requests to buy. I need to get business plan together but cannot seem to find a sample plan out there to help get started. Any help anyone can give would be gratefully accepted. I am in Kansas City, MO and want to... ok need to open a shop (MO laws make it hard to make it at home). Also anyone who can explain laws pertaining to alcohol in truffles would be great as I have amazing recipe but may not be able to sell. Again I love reading all the wonderful information from great people.
Comment by Mike on October 28, 2009 at 5:14pm
hi there, i'm about as new as it gets to chocolate (<1 yr) and even newer to starting a business, so i'm here to learn as much as possible.

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