Hello. How does someone get started in this buisiness? I mean, how do you begin a small chocolate buisiness? Ideally I would like to have a small shop and maybe even make my own someday. Can you…Continue
"You could sell on an already established site like foodzie.com - it's like ebay for artisan food. I've been drooling over some of their options. That could give you web presence and be a stepping stone for your path to your own site with…"
I've started my own cake and confection business. I am primarily based out of my home (yeah, there are some laws that go with that) but I use a professional kitchen at a local coffee house in exchange for making some pastries for…"
"You can go to http://chocosphere.com/ here you can buy a sample of different chocolates and test out which ones work best with your recipes.
For an online store you can go to rent-a-coder and a developer can help you for less money.
Hope all is…"
"I found a handful of specialty food distributors in my area who supply restaurants and retailers. I ended up getting the best price from a place that sold mainly cheeses. Their minimums were very low and they already had a weekly delivery schedule…"
I will look into the lower order amounts for you. There are several tricks to the online store. If you could give me some "hints" on what you'd like to do I could get you started in the right direction.
The first thing you…"
"Timing of the opening definitely seems like a big deal, but I'm not sure it makes that much of a difference. When you first open you shouldn't be in desperate need of anything (except maybe attention), so I'd say don't rush…"
"Hey Maren thanks for the much needed "lift"! I can see the opportunity in a chocolate business. I have a few very good ideas for our buisiness. It's just a matter of getting the location I want, and of course learning the ins and outs…"
"We live in a small town and there is a chocolate shop that makes their own confections - he and his family bought this a year ago with no experience - however, in the last year managed to gross $155,000 (then you need to subtract expenses). I…"
"Hi! I'm Erin, Joshua's partner. Thank you! You've made some very important points. We've already put some focus on our location with regards to demographic. One thing I didn't consider is waste. It's going to be tricky…"
"The usual factors in small business failure all apply to chocolate...poor location, lukewarm marketing, unrealistic sales forecasts, poor money management... I found very little specific info on artisanal chocolate as a business niche. Following…"
"Have just joined this site as I am trying to help my wife get started in this line of business, it's all still new and we're still at the home experiment stage (her making fudge and myself making toffee) much to the delight of our five…"
"Hey thank you very much Brendan. I appreciate the advice. Actually my partner and I are in the process of doing the financial planning part of it right now. Considering the fact that by trade I am a union mason, this is all very new to me. And to be…"
Timing of the opening definitely seems like a big deal, but I'm not sure it makes that much of a difference. When you first open you shouldn't be in desperate need of anything (except maybe attention), so I'd say don't rush things in order to make a particular season.
As far as waste goes, Jean-Pierre Wybauw's books discuss re-processing leftovers and seconds. Definitely worth a look.
The usual factors in small business failure all apply to chocolate...poor location, lukewarm marketing, unrealistic sales forecasts, poor money management... I found very little specific info on artisanal chocolate as a business niche. Following news articles on the subject can reveal some good figures and provide insight, though. Subscribing to the NASFT newsletter isn't a bad idea.
Issues specific to chocolate are its seasonal nature (you sell virtually nothing all summer, and have to deal with the difficulty in working with/storing/shipping product) and inventory control. Good artisanal chocolates will have a shelf life measured in weeks. You need to be sure A) customers are always getting fresh product, B) you always have product on hand to sell, and C) you aren't spending all your time in production.