Clay Gordon, is the founder and moderator of TheChocolateLife.com. He has been seriously involved in the chocolate industry since 1994 and has been writing, lecturing, and teaching classes internationally on the subject of chocolate professionally since May, 2001 when he started his first chocolate blog, chocophile.com.
In 2007, his first book on chocolate, Discover Chocolate, was published by Gotham Books (Penguin USA). A finalist in the technical/reference category in the 2008 IACP Cookbook of the Year Awards, Discover Chocolate is the first book to talk about chocolate from the same perspective as a book about wine appreciation and connoisseurship.
Consulting Practice Areas of Expertise
Since 2003, Clay has made his extensive knowledge, experience, and network available on a consulting basis and has worked closely with a number of chocolatiers and chocolate companies, including many startups. The projects Clay has undertaken on behalf of his clients have been varied but have included:
Business plan development
Ingredient sourcing - including bean buying trips
Packaging design and brand development
Sales channel development
Contract manufacturing negotiation
Kitchen design and equipment selection
Copywriting packaging, publicity, and promotion
Developing incentive travel programs
Clay offers his services at the base rate of $1000/day or $125 per hour.
Clients generally purchase small blocks of time at the beginning of projects, a few hours or a day or three, until a solid working relationship has been established. Once this working relationship has been established, clients have the option to commit to blocks of time (minimum 10 hours per month (if by the hour) or minimum 4 days per month (if by day)) for a minimum of three months at a discount off the base rates (discount is dependent on the number of hours and length of commitment).
If you are an established chocolate business - or are interested in getting into a chocolate business - contact Clay to discuss how he can help grow your business.
Since 2001 Clay's thoughts on chocolate have appeared on his own blogs (most notably chocophile.com), in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Business Week, and Chocolatier/Dessert Professional among dozens of others. His first book on chocolate, Discover Chocolate, was published in October, 2007 by Gotham Books. Discover Chocolate was a finalist in the technical/reference category of the 2008 International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP) Cookbook of the Year awards. He has appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show and in programming on Food Network, History Channel, ESPN2, and TreasureHD, among others. He has been a regular guest on Martha Stewart Living Radio on Sirius Satellite Network. Clay has given so many chocolate tasting classes over the past decade that he has lost count. In addition to classes for NYU's School of Continuing and Professional Education (organized in conjunction with the James Beard Foundation), he works with non-profit organizations and has helped raise over $15,000 for various causes since 2005.