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eglies

I’m a new chocolatier help

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Hi there,

i am moving into our lab next week so excited!!!! I have one million questions but the ones popping up in my head are

1) If I have 6 moulded bonbon recipes to airbrush, fill and cover and 6 bars recipes to make for our production,how do you organise production? Can someone give me an example of their weekly plan am and pm plan just to get an idea? I have a Selmi 😀

2) how many bonbons and bars should I produce just before we launch? I have my budgets and projections but you know those first weeks God knows how you will do! Should I be freezing from the beginning? And what is the ideal packaging way to freeze bonbons? 

 

Thank you so appreciate it! 

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Make the items with the fewest allergens first to avoid cross contamination. 

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3 hours ago, pastrygirl said:

Make the items with the fewest allergens first to avoid cross contamination. 


That, or have your "we are unable to accommodate allergies and make no guarantees regarding potential allergen cross-contamination" disclaimer sign that would be an integral part of any chocolate shop I would open. For truth in advertising, the sign should actually say "we are unwilling to accommodate..." but "unable" sounds much more customer friendly. :D

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@Tri2Cook yes, but you should still try. 

 

My bars all have various inclusions or fillings, and scraping the molds back into the melter can pick up bits of those.  To get maximum use out of the chocolate and fewest washings of the molds, I'll do the 72% bars with no allergens first, then switch to 60% and make the 3 flavors with only soy and milk, then one with soy, milk, and either wheat or nuts.  After I've made a batch and have leftover chocolate that has been used with wheat or nuts I label it and keep it separate and only use it for that flavor.  As I scale up, I should move to bigger batches and only use the chocolate for one thing.   I have a 24 kg melter but don't need 450 bar batches yet, this method lets me make 150 of 3 flavors with one melter-full of 60% and be able to tell people that I'm trying my best.

 

Otherwise, I think you just have to make a few batches of everything and roll with it.  If you've gotten to the point of a Selmi and a retail shop, surely you already know what your best sellers are and how long it takes to make a batch.  There will always be some adjustments for a new kitchen and maybe the retail location will have a different demographic than whatever you've done before. 

 

Keep us posted!  I think we all dream of having cute little shops, few of us achieve it.

 

 


Edited by pastrygirl (log)

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16 minutes ago, pastrygirl said:

yes, but you should still try. 


Probably... but, at this point in time, I don't put much effort into that area. I'm willing to revisit that policy at some point if I feel like it would be in the best interest of what I do. I don't intentionally make sure chocolate comes in contact with potential allergens but I'm unwilling at this time to guarantee that it has not and don't go to any great effort beyond my normal cleanliness and food safety practices to see that it doesn't.

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On 2/9/2019 at 7:37 AM, eglies said:

Hi there,

i am moving into our lab next week so excited!!!! I have one million questions but the ones popping up in my head are

1) If I have 6 moulded bonbon recipes to airbrush, fill and cover and 6 bars recipes to make for our production,how do you organise production? Can someone give me an example of their weekly plan am and pm plan just to get an idea? I have a Selmi 😀

2) how many bonbons and bars should I produce just before we launch? I have my budgets and projections but you know those first weeks God knows how you will do! Should I be freezing from the beginning? And what is the ideal packaging way to freeze bonbons? 

 

Thank you so appreciate it! 

 

Congrats, so exciting!

 

Can you tell us a little more about your shop? What size is it? Do you have a huge counter/ lots of shelves to fill?

 

What have you been doing up until this point chocolate wise - markets etc? Do you have any best sellers?

 

Our little shop opened 4 months ago and the opening weekend was absolutely manic & I sold out of pretty much everything. My advice would be to make masses of your long life products i.e bars then you can just focus on truffles if you end up selling more than you think. When it comes to a schedule, to be honest as yet there isn't one,  especially as everything sells at such different rates from week to week I just go with the flow.

 

If you're worried about having bonbon wastage, you always have the option of running a competition to win free bonbons etc, bit of promo and gets rid of excess stock.

 

Best of luck!

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Hello, I will only sell online I will not have a store just a lab. It’s just easier to start this way.

 

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1 hour ago, eglies said:

Hello, I will only sell online I will not have a store just a lab. It’s just easier to start this way.

 


You'd think that but wait until you start getting deep into the packaging, shipping and climate control issues that come along with online sales of chocolates. Unless you already have that stuff worked out. I did a little peeking into the shallow end of that pool and decided it wouldn't be worth the headache for what I do. But it is an easier way to potentially reach a larger market at a lower initial investment. I'd just replace "easier to start this way" with "cheaper to start this way". :D

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20 hours ago, Tri2Cook said:


You'd think that but wait until you start getting deep into the packaging, shipping and climate control issues that come along with online sales of chocolates. Unless you already have that stuff worked out. I did a little peeking into the shallow end of that pool and decided it wouldn't be worth the headache for what I do. But it is an easier way to potentially reach a larger market at a lower initial investment. I'd just replace "easier to start this way" with "cheaper to start this way". :D

 

Shipping in cold weather isn't so bad.  It does add cost for a box, bubble wrap, and time to pack and bring to the post office.  Shipping in warm weather is a lot trickier.  You can add an ice pack but that adds a lot of weight, and you can ship next day air but that's very expensive, especially with the added weight of the ice pack.

 

If you end up shipping hundreds of packages a month, there are volume discounts with various carriers, or you can have them pick up from your lab. 

 

I usually only get a handful of website orders per month.  I have a stash of various sizes small boxes and get free bubble wrap recycled from my SIL's workplace, and with a USPS account, I can create and pay for my shipping label online from home and not have to wait in line at the post office.  I did have to drop off orders every day last week, but I'm within 3 miles of 2 different post offices, so it's not too far out of my way.

 

My main tip is to pack your boxes as full with bubble wrap as possible.  The one time I didn't, the box got crushed.  I always think of my brothers ordering heavy things like boxes of ammo, I want my bonbons safe even if a heavy box gets thrown on top if it.

 

If you have any tips on SEO or online customer acquisition, I'd love to read them!  I built my own website with Squarespace, it works but there is a lot of room for improvement.  Aren't you supposed to  imbed keyword into all your photos or something?  I'm always curious when someone across the country orders from me.  I wonder if they found me by searching, maybe got a gift from someone local or one of the subscription boxes I've worked with?  It's kind of exciting, though!


Edited by pastrygirl (log)
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24 minutes ago, pastrygirl said:

 

If you have any tips on SEO or online customer acquisition, I'd love to read them!  I built my own website with Squarespace, it works but there is a lot of room for improvement.  Aren't you supposed to  imbed keyword into all your photos or something?

 

I 2nd this as someone who is getting ready to do something like this.  I am trying to be a sponge on everything I can when it comes to online ordering and delivery.

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