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: 658
Latest Activity: 18 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 Steven Lebowitz on December 21, 2008 at 12:46pm
My interest in chocolates/confectionery began about 6 years ago when I went to culinary school for a pastry program. About that time, a local couple opened a chocolate shop near my home and I worked with them a bit by baking pastries to add to their inventory. I learned a bit about chocolate at the time but not enough to satisfy. What I learned most from that experience is how NOT to run a business.

Since then I've taken other classes including a course at the Culinary Institute of American (best class I've ever taken) and have been actively producing confectionery ever since. I currently make between 2,500 - 4,000 pieces/year and sell some of them. I don't actively promote that business side since doing so would mean finding a commercial kitchen.

I really enjoy doing this and would like to make the move some day. In the mean time, I certainly enjoy speaking with others and learning what I can both about confections and business.
Comment by Valerie on December 21, 2008 at 9:56am
I'm a hobby chocolate maker with aspirations to one day make money from my chocolates, either by starting my own business or partnering with an amazing chocolate maker who's strengths in chocolate making would compliment my strengths in business and marketing management. Right now I'm in dream mode looking for some inspiration.
Comment by Rajarajeshwari Kainthaje on December 21, 2008 at 8:31am
Hello, I am a professional chocolatier. I am a Cacoa grower too, and aspire to be a bean to bar chocolate maker from my own Cacoa.

I sell my truffles in Bangalore city. i have wholesale accounts in malls.
Comment by Irma Wiese on December 21, 2008 at 2:31am
Hello, I have been making chocolates as a hobby for 20 + years but it is only in the past couple of years that I've switched doing it as a business. i have not been aggressively marketing my business but I am slowly easing into it. So far i get my business by word of mouth and through shows and fundraisers. I do not have a retail store but am renting a commercial kitchen. I showcase my products through my website-
Comment by Langdon Stevenson on December 20, 2008 at 9:27pm
Greetings to all of the newly joined members, nice to see you all, looking forward to your input.
Comment by Koa Kahili on December 20, 2008 at 4:36pm
Aloha, I am Koa Kahili owner of Garden Island Chocolate, where we grow cacao and make finished bars. We are looking go expand our cacao farms and production but need capital. Anyone want to invest in a cacao company on Kauai? please visit us at
Comment by Ilana on December 20, 2008 at 2:31pm
Hi Jo!! Yes we will be in touch. Got the email just been busy. Sorry!
Comment by holycacao on December 20, 2008 at 1:40pm
Shalom y'all,
My name is Jo Zander and my startup company is called Holy Cacao Chocolate located in Israel. We are a very small artisan chocolate manufacture producing chocolate in my kitchen pantry currently. We are in the process of closing on a site and also building a lot of our own equipment. It's a slow process since to the best of my knowledge there are no other bean to bar maunfacturers in Israel and I am neck deep in applying for many licenses that seem to only exist for me. Currently I'm applying for an importer's license for cocoa (a lot of fun) and in the process I need to have a manufacturers license (which necessitates a health dept approved facility and warehouse).
In short, there are many hurdles besides financial, logistics, and actually selling the product. It would be nice if the gov't would help/encourage small businesses cut through the red tape instead of placing more up-just a rant though-I love the actual process of making chocolate and selling it (hopefully soon to Ilana!)
Comment by Debby on December 20, 2008 at 1:01pm
Hi everyone. I came to chocolate confections in a round about way. It began by becoming a beekeeper. I wanted to have a spot at the local farmer's market to sell the honey. Unfortunately, the bees did not cooperate this year and I had a spot with nothing to sell. I started making honey lollipops with bought honey and selling herbs out of my garden. Then one fateful Saturday, a woman stopped by and said, "Now, if you were selling chocolate, I'd be buying from you." I went home and did some research into making chocolate confections. Oh my, it was soooo much fun! I can't get enough. The flavors, the options, it boggles the mind. Anyway, as the market closed for the season, I brought my first truffle experiment out for a taste test. People loved what they were tasting. I made more truffles for the holiday craft fair circuit. They sold very well. And I was still having fun. Anyway, the end of this saga is that I want to bootstrap this into a full time business. I was searching for help making a business plan when I found this site. So, here I am. Hopefully, I can contribute as well as learn.
Comment by Ilana on December 20, 2008 at 12:35pm
Hello everyone. I have a very small home run business called "Ganache Chocolate" The URL is on my homepage if anyone is interested. I have a chocolate laboratory/kitchen. I don'tknow if Ican produce 1,000 chocolates in the blink of an eye, but I wouldn't be able to sell them all anyway!! I need to get a breakthrough order with a company/hotel etc as right now I only get individual orders and a few small monthly orders.

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