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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Members: 671
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.

Comment Wall


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Comment by Langdon Stevenson on December 22, 2008 at 7:20pm
Nice image Clay. Thank you for posting the larger version.
Comment by Langdon Stevenson on December 22, 2008 at 7:14pm
Hi Tom, thanks for the support, it makes our day to hear that Tava has been able to help out. Looking forward to hearing more about your project.
Comment by Clay Gordon on December 22, 2008 at 7:01pm
Tom: If you click on the photo now, the original large version will open in a new tab or window (depending on how your browser it set up). It's 2200px wide so you should be able to click on it and enlarge it even more. ::Clay
Comment by Tom on December 22, 2008 at 6:10pm
Clay do you have a higher res pic of the Mexican chocolate shop. I'd really like to have a closer look at what is there.
Comment by Tom on December 22, 2008 at 5:55pm
I had a theory that to get what I wanted out of chocolate I had to go back to the raw product and make it myself. It was thanks to you and your bean importing and Tava bars that allowed me to prove that theory correct. Without your beans and John Nancy's site I wouldn't be in this. Thanks.
Comment by Langdon Stevenson on December 22, 2008 at 5:39pm
Welcome Tom. Nice to see another Aussie joining the group :-)
Comment by Tom on December 22, 2008 at 5:33pm
Hi, I am a part time entrepreneur always looking for my next business - successful enough to enable me to be a full time entrepreneur. I am just shutting down a skimboard importing business due to the 'financial crisis' actually due to the over inflated USD as that is where our boards come from. I am a hobbyist chocolate maker at the moment and my ideas for a business are only just forming as are my skills in chocolate making. I feel it is a long way off but it is going to be a delicious journey.
Comment by Annette Jimison on December 22, 2008 at 4:40pm
Fournier is the family name. Means "Baker" in French. Phillip Fournier, my Grandmother's brother, had a chocolate and ice cream shop in Mass. When the stock market crashed in '29, Grandma opened up a home-based business manufacturing chocolates, fondants, fudges, taffy. With seven kids and an ailing husband, she supported the group. Very proud of her doing what she did for the family. All the recipes have been handed down, and I wholesaled chocolate fudges to the La Jolla area in San Diego. My mom owned her own restaurant, and I enjoyed having that as I grew up.

Being a bean to bar manufacturer is my goal. Have been sculpting new designs for chocolate items and developing high end packaging for them. I love this! It really lets you use everything you have. I hope to learn constantly from everyone.
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.

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