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: Dec 16

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 Greg Sorini on August 31, 2009 at 1:13am
My name is Greg Sorini. I started a small time chocolate business, GS Confections. The name came from a logo I doodled about 8 years ago. I have a preliminary website using Wordpress; I make molded, dipped chocolates and truffles. I'm looking to talk with others who have started a business. The chocolate is easy, the business part, not as much. Looking forward to this group.
Comment by Ezekiel Holliday on August 16, 2009 at 2:56pm
Hello everyone,

My name is Ezekiel. My wife and myself are in the process of planning and starting a small bean to bar chocolate business. We will also be making truffles, brownies, maybe cookies, and other things with our chocolate. Initially we will start with just chocolate bars. Then we will grow into the other stuff.
Comment by MANJU SETHIA on August 12, 2009 at 4:20pm
Hi my name is Manju
and i have just started my chocolate business. have been working with chocolate for the last 10 years now , but baking since my early teens. I am 90 % self taught. Have been teaching cakes and cake decorations since the last 10 yrs or so. Was making very simple chocolates by adding ground almonds to the chocolate and setting them in the polycarbonate moulds just for my friends and family (same old story) but never had confidence to start selling them UNTIL i did the diploma course with Callebaut . I became obsessed. Now with help I have started my chocolate business and i want to make the best in taste and in looks. The one big problem I am having is the condensation problem . Can anyone tell me what is the shelf life of truffle and fruit filled chocolates?
My website is getting it upgraded soon.
Comment by Justin Schaffer on August 11, 2009 at 11:41am
Hey Everyone,

Just wanted to say hi and introduce myself. We are a family owned chocolate business that i started around 5 years ago. Up until now all our products have been made to order. We supplied wholesale chocolates to hotels and event halls. We also make custom gift. Now we are opening a retail center. The web-site is being updated with all the match the retail center...
Comment by Lee Reizian Holmes on August 10, 2009 at 9:19am
Hi Everyone!

I own a boutique chocolate company called Art By Chocolate. We design and create flowers & leaves. Our niche in the chocolate business is that we can create specific color palettes for our clients. We work with a wide range of clients from Chefs to Brides. We love what we do and we invite you to visit us at
Comment by Maren Muter on July 17, 2009 at 1:39am
From the first time chocolate was given to me with one simple request from my father, "try this" I was hooked. Making chocolate and enjoying chocolate became a fun past time for me as a child. Most everything I learned was trial and error. I presented my mother the inverted lava cake 30 years ago on her birthday (a messy runny frosting over a very hot chocolate cake) and enjoyed every last bite.

Last weekend however I was asked to give a chocolate presentation at a wine gala - before I went I was playing around in the kitchen and created four quick ganache type sauces. They turned out extraordinary! I brought them with me and 100 out of 100 people who tried it wanted to buy it.

This is the problem I have.... I have not ever jarred a chocolate sauce or cream or ganache of any kind. This whole week I have been seriously over cooking my chocolates in a attempt to jar these sauces. I scortched the heck out them in the pressure cooker, boiled them to death on the double boiler, and am lost - I had originally made them using a tempered (liquid) chocolate and added heated cream and butter. I am just looking for a safe way to process this product and truly, truly appreciate any help.
Comment by Ruth Atkinson Kendrick on July 15, 2009 at 8:17pm
Hi. My name is Ruth from Ogden, Utah. I am an old time candymaker (emphasis on old). My mother and I wrote HPBooks Candymaking many years ago. Last year I wanted to 'up my game' and took the advanced course at Callebaut in Montreal. I have changed from making fondant based creams, hand dipped, to molded bon bons and using colored cocoa butters. I am enjoying the new challenges this presents. Every day I tell myself that if I just got my hand in there, I could get the chocolates dipped faster than with a fork, but I will learn! I also make caramels and toffee. My web site is, but it is in the process of being redone. I am home-based and this works well as I have very little overhead. Utah has a law that allows this. We are inspected and insured just like the big boys but don't have to have a commercial kitchen. Not having retail space is good and bad. I would like to have my products displayed, but right now, I sell direct, or wholesale to some high-end stores. I do rent a commercial kitchen for my toffee, as I make it in larger quantities and don't want the mess at home. I co-op with some gals that make granola. Our busy seasons are opposite, so it works well. I have had a Hilliard 80# melter for 30 years, and bought 3 Savage 50# semi-automatic tempering kettles,used, last year. I do not want to move the chocolate to the commercial kitchen, as I have everything the way I want it at home. I mostly use E Guittard single-origin chocolates or Amano. It is nice to have Amano less than an hour away. I hope to learn a lot from all of you as I started this just 11 months ago.
Comment by Dove Chocolatier on June 8, 2009 at 11:05am
Hi Ever One I am Sharon and I have been A Dove Chocolate Discoveries Chocolatier for over a year, I love It,I call it "My Sweet Life".
And I Love The Chocolate Life and all the Info I have gotten from everv one.
Comment by David Sawyer on June 7, 2009 at 1:03pm
Hello B, The SBA has been and continues to be a wealth of great resource.I was in retail for a highend hifi firm,started at the bottom and went straight up for eight years.I have good grasp of that.Getting a loan that's been difficult, no one wants to lend to a startup.Your local office is just waiting for you to drop by or call.They keep pushing me and keep my hopes up.The best of luck, you're futher along then me. regards David
Comment by MeLissa Rocco on June 7, 2009 at 2:10am
Hello everyone! I am, perhaps, in a little different vein than many of you, but I have started up a new chocolate business with Dove Chocolate Discoveries (tm). This is direct sales opportunity where I get to share products using premium Dove chocolate (like martini mix, brownies, etc.) via chocolate tasting parties. I have been doing this for about a month and am really enjoying it. I am looking forward to seeing if there is some information in this group that I can translate to my business or, at the very least, educate my customers with. If you'd like to check out my website, I welcome you


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