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Adventures in Starting a Chocolate Business

Chocolate

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259 replies to this topic

#211 Desiderio

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Posted 30 March 2008 - 08:23 PM

I was wondering how you guys deal with the health department inspection.
I am going to have to schedule soon ( one week or so ) I know they are concerned about the temperature of the cream etc. Do you make up a preparation just for teh health department or you follow what they want. I mean I dont follow what they are requiring for my ganaches I guess, I am hoping they arent asking to set the ganahce in the fridge etc etc because I dont like that , so I would have to figure out how to make something for them and then just do it my way?


Thank you
Vanessa

#212 tammylc

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Posted 31 March 2008 - 04:00 AM

Do you know for sure they're going to want to see you prepare a recipe? I was not required to do that for my health department inspection. It was just about ensuring that the equipment was at the proper temperature, and that my food was stored correctly, things like that.

We talked about my recipes and discussed water activity and shelf life, but I didn't have to demonstrate.

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#213 Desiderio

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Posted 31 March 2008 - 07:21 AM

I am not sure they will require me to make something, but probably they will ask, like you said, how ho prepare things etc, temperatures, the thing I am concerned is the fact that some ganaches, like slabbed or when I pour it into the molds and let it stay overnight.
Vanessa

#214 tammylc

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Posted 31 March 2008 - 07:27 AM

You could always bring along books (like Grewling) that indicate that letting things set at room temperature is standard of practice for chocolate making.

Unless they tell you in advance that you should plan for production, I would get around the issue completely by having no production supplies there. Or at least none of the perishables, like cream. You're just getting the space certified for your use.

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#215 Desiderio

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Posted 31 March 2008 - 10:07 AM

Thank you Tammy, this really helps :wub: .I will follow your suggestions.
Vanessa

#216 patris

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Posted 31 March 2008 - 11:58 AM

Chiming in late, but I totally agree with Tammy. If you're using a commercial kitchen (i.e. not your own dedicated shop), it makes sense that you'd just need to demonstrate a full understanding of sanitary practices, food safety, food handling and stuff like that. When we were inspected, it was all conversation and no demonstration.

Good luck!
Patty

#217 tammylc

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Posted 01 April 2008 - 11:00 AM

Whee! I'm totally jumping up and down with excitement right now.

A few weeks ago I went to a vendor showcase and ended up talking to the chef and general manager of a destination restaurant here in Michigan. They really liked what they were tasting and seeing, and we exchanged some emails. They asked me for some pricing on chocolates for an upcoming wine dinner, and today we sealed the deal and I got the order for 7 dozen chocolates.

The restaurant is Evans Street Station, and it's exactly the sort of restaurant I would most want to have my chocolates being served at. As it happens, I already had a reservation there for this weekend even before I got the email from them about the dinner, so I'll be hand delivering the chocolates on Friday when I go there to eat.

It's a really exciting next step for me!

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#218 David J.

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Posted 01 April 2008 - 12:45 PM

Congratulations!

#219 John DePaula

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Posted 01 April 2008 - 03:08 PM

Yes, that's great news Tammi; Congrats!
John DePaula
DePaula Confections
Hand-crafted artisanal chocolates & gourmet confections - …Because Pleasure Matters…
--------------------
When asked “What are the secrets of good cooking? Escoffier replied, “There are three: butter, butter and butter.”

#220 Desiderio

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Posted 01 April 2008 - 06:12 PM

Congratz, those are the good news that makes it all worth it!!!
Vanessa

#221 prairiegirl

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Posted 14 June 2008 - 01:21 PM

Last week was my official start of my chocolate business. On Friday I received the good news that I was going to receive a grant. First thing I did was incorporate my business. On Tuesday I meet with the banker, Wednesday I meet with my marketing consultant, and in all this try to get some production done. I am renting space from a pastry chef. It is humble beginnings, but at least I'm legal!! I anticipate that I will have my own facility by next spring or sooner. Anyhow, there is much to do! I have been kicking the can around the block for about 3 years so it is exciting and scary to finally be in business. I have learned many lessons along the way. I had someone do the business plan and he could talk the talk but didn't do a proper job, so in the end I wrote the plan! The biggest lesson I learned is that I underestimated my own abilities. Anyhow, I will update as things progress and I hope it will encourage others to take the leap!

#222 gfron1

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Posted 14 June 2008 - 01:28 PM

Very exciting! Can't wait to hear more. Yay!

Chef, Curious Kumquat, Silver City, NM


#223 Kerry Beal

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Posted 14 June 2008 - 01:42 PM

Me too, can't wait to follow along.

#224 merlicky

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Posted 14 June 2008 - 07:38 PM

prairiegirl, congratulations. It must be exciting to be legal...kind of like getting your drivers license.

Out of curiosity, when you wrote up the business plan, what sources did you use for your market research section? Thanks.

#225 prairiegirl

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Posted 14 June 2008 - 09:10 PM

prairiegirl, congratulations.  It must be exciting to be legal...kind of like getting your drivers license.

Out of curiosity, when you wrote up the business plan, what sources did you use for your market research section?  Thanks.

View Post


I had to do a market analysis of the chocolate industry in my city. I started with the phone book and analyzed each company. I guestimated what each company had for market share, and what kind of chocolate they used, and how they priced their product, web presence, etc.. It is hard to get exact figures for chocolate companies. Also, I would recommend that you go thru the various issues of Candy Industry. They do put the magazine online. They typically do a feature on an artisan company and I found it helpful and encouraging.

#226 Lior

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Posted 15 June 2008 - 09:47 AM

Prairiegirl!! What lovely news!! It must be such a yay feeling!! I believe a lot of us underestimate ourselves- self confidence or something?? Anyway it sounds really good and I wish you much success and pleasure. Enjoy it!

#227 Kerry Beal

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Posted 19 August 2008 - 03:19 PM

Hey guys, check this out - our own Lior has a new and extremely professional looking website.

Guess that's the next adventure in starting a chocolate business for some eG chocolatiers!

#228 mrose

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Posted 19 August 2008 - 03:48 PM

I recently moved to Rhode Island. I probably will be working for a small chocolate store who wants to bring truffle production in house for the hand made look. I now scoop, roll, lightly coat by hand rolling then hand dip. I have been thinking on ways to increase productivity, I now will have an enrobing machine. I was thinking of using Tomric rubber mats making lots of small discs. Then sticking ganache balls on them & running them through the enrobing machine. Has anyone tried this type of process? or have any other good insights?
Mark
www.roseconfections.com

#229 emmalish

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Posted 19 August 2008 - 04:02 PM

Alright, Lior! You have a great selection of flavours there. I especially love the look of the double heart with the milk & dark chocolate detailing (bittersweet mark).

I'm gonna go bake something…

wanna come with?


#230 carol lang

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Posted 19 August 2008 - 04:10 PM

Hey guys, check this out - our own Lior has a new and extremely professional looking website.

Guess that's the next adventure in starting a chocolate business for some eG chocolatiers!

View Post



Lior,
Your website is very beautiful. The work and the detail that you put in to it is evident.
The chocolates look perfect.
I have been reading about your preparation and learning both here and on ecole chocolat.
You are incredible and a role model for me.

Carol

#231 CaliPoutine

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Posted 19 August 2008 - 04:26 PM

Hey guys, check this out - our own Lior has a new and extremely professional looking website.

Guess that's the next adventure in starting a chocolate business for some eG chocolatiers!

View Post



She named a bar after you. :biggrin: How cool is that?

#232 Kerry Beal

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Posted 19 August 2008 - 04:36 PM

I recently moved to Rhode Island. I probably will be working for a small chocolate store who wants to bring truffle production in house for the hand made look. I now scoop, roll, lightly coat by hand rolling then hand dip. I have been thinking on ways to increase productivity, I now will have an enrobing machine. I was thinking of using Tomric rubber mats making lots of small discs. Then sticking ganache balls on them & running them through the enrobing machine. Has anyone tried this type of process? or have any other good insights?

View Post

One of the problems with running truffles though an enrober is the tendency for them to stop at the little bar that sweeps the excess chocolate off the bottom and start to roll. Then the next bunch runs into the first bunch...

One option is to prebottom them by dipping each in chocolate. I suspect your little discs might work the same way. I don't know what brand of enrober you are using, but I notice that the Selmi has a truffle grill attachment, which avoids that problem.

Speaking of enrobers I notice there is a 10 inch Hillard enrober available on e-bay right now.

#233 Shelby

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Posted 19 August 2008 - 05:27 PM

Lior!! I love your site!

#234 mrose

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Posted 19 August 2008 - 06:05 PM

I recently moved to Rhode Island. I probably will be working for a small chocolate store who wants to bring truffle production in house for the hand made look. I now scoop, roll, lightly coat by hand rolling then hand dip. I have been thinking on ways to increase productivity, I now will have an enrobing machine. I was thinking of using Tomric rubber mats making lots of small discs. Then sticking ganache balls on them & running them through the enrobing machine. Has anyone tried this type of process? or have any other good insights?

View Post

One of the problems with running truffles though an enrober is the tendency for them to stop at the little bar that sweeps the excess chocolate off the bottom and start to roll. Then the next bunch runs into the first bunch...

One option is to prebottom them by dipping each in chocolate. I suspect your little discs might work the same way. I don't know what brand of enrober you are using, but I notice that the Selmi has a truffle grill attachment, which avoids that problem.

Speaking of enrobers I notice there is a 10 inch Hillard enrober available on e-bay right now.

View Post



The enrober is an older Hillard.
Mark
www.roseconfections.com

#235 Lior

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Posted 20 August 2008 - 11:45 PM

Thank you so very much! I am still fixing it up, sorryfor any mistakes... Anyone is welcome to play editor...

#236 Lior

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Posted 20 August 2008 - 11:49 PM

mrose also has a bonbon...
btw, all blue words are links...

Edited by Lior, 21 August 2008 - 02:16 AM.


#237 carol lang

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Posted 21 August 2008 - 04:31 AM

Lior,

I love the teddy bear in your childrens section.
Is it a solid piece or a bonbon?
Where did you get the mold?

Thanks,

Carol

#238 Lior

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Posted 21 August 2008 - 05:41 AM

Hi. Yes it is solid- all those kiddies ones are solid. I often decorate him with buttons with the tip of a paint brush dipped in a different chocolate color and I put a drop in each ear- it adds a lot! Well Ilovekids so I have fun with this!- I'll see if I have a photo. I got all these kiddie ones from ipfco in India, and they were kind enough to allow me to use some of their pictures. I don't know about where you are, but here it is more expensive than ordering from India and paying shipping. They also did my logo mold for me- oh and the kiddie molds are pvc and so is my logo. www.ipfco.com. Arun is the guy you need-he is great.

Edited by Lior, 21 August 2008 - 05:48 AM.


#239 carol lang

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Posted 21 August 2008 - 05:55 AM

Thank you so much for sharing, Lior, they really have some great stuff.

Carol

#240 Spring

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Posted 23 August 2008 - 01:01 PM

Hi Lior
Your website is lovely, really professional. I noticed one tiny mistake in the truffle recipe 4 lines from the bottom where you wrote 'roast' insteat of 'toast'. Hope this isnt a petty correction





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