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Truffle Guy

Equipment for Chocolate business

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I've been in the process for quite a while to start a small company making artisan chocolates. I'm to the point where I'm serious and working on the business plan with some potential investors. I've already had some great help from people on things to do and vendors to use for my current production as a hobbyist but I'm looking for some more industrial type vendors at this point. Below are some of the items I want to research, any help would be greatly appreciated.

Printing Equipment - This would be for making custom transfers. It seems like it might be the easiest way to go at this point as I've had some difficulty getting much response from the few companies that do this. I've looked online and don't seem to have much luck finding models, companies etc. I'm looking for a higher end machine that can do multi-color and high production.

Enrobers - I've talked with a chocolatier that has a model from France, I'm just a bit concerned about warranty and maintenance on an overseas model.

Guittar cutters - I've seen them quite a bit but at $2K I'm wondering if there are other sources I'm missing.

Molds - I've purchased small amounts from some of the typical online vendors: JB Prince etc. at about $20 a pop. If I'm buying in bulk I'd like to find a better price.

Boxes - I'm looking for the standard company box I will use which will be a cardboard package. I've used Nakazawa and that is an option. I'd like something that is high end and sturdy.

Custom Boxes - I'm looking for a wooden or metal box for special gifts. I've found a few vendors but would like to find a quality box, similar to a humidor or jewelry box, for special occassions.

Temper Machines - I'll probably use the enrober quite a bit but it would be nice to have some smaller machines for special batches of different chocolate. I've got a Rev II and know about Chocovision but wondered if there are some other 5lb and up machines.

Storage - Trays/carts for putting chocolates on while waiting to be boxed.

Display cases - Cases for retail display.

These are just a few and the printer is probably my main focus at this point. It may prove too expensive but I'd like to have more options than I do currently. Thanks for any help. :biggrin:

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Aha! Now I get a chance to help you, after all of your great comments last week.

For your molds, there is a super place here in Mtl, D&R. They have all sorts of chocolate equipment, not all cheaper than prices you mentioned in your post, but their chocolate molds are under 20$ apiece, so maybe you will find something you're looking for there.

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We've had a couple great threads on sources for packaging. There was a thread on this topic about a week ago. You can read thru our pages.........because your likely to stumble upon more info. that relates to your interests. We've had many threads that should interest you.

Or you can use our search feature.

I don't have much luck using our most obvious search buttoms, the rectangular boxes with blue go buttons....located on the upper right side of each page. BUT if you go to the very top of our page (when you can't scroll any higher) you'll see on the upper right side links to: Imagegullet, The Daily Gullet, RecipeGullet, Help, Search, Members, Calender. Using the search button there works with much more detail with-in our site. The difference between what you'll find using that search feature and the other are night and day, imo.

Then narrow your focus to P & B Forum and enter words that relate to what your looking for: Chocolate boxes, display cases, guittar cutters, etc....

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Thanks! Looks like a good source for other items as well. I've been trying to find something to use to frame bon bon's that are part ganache and part pate de fruit or another ganache and they have something that might work. I also see some nice molds as well and they are cheaper. Thanks and good luck, how did everything turn out?

Aha! Now I get a chance to help you, after all of your great comments last week.

For your molds, there is a super place here in Mtl, D&R. They have all sorts of chocolate equipment, not all cheaper than prices you mentioned in your post, but their chocolate molds are under 20$ apiece, so maybe you will find something you're looking for there.

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Wendy, thanks as always. I've combed through pretty extensively and I guess I'm looking for some different sources than listed. As I said, Nakazawa has been good to this point and may suffice but I'd like to see some other sources that are higher end. Also, I've had a heck of a time finding suppliers of wooden boxes. I did find a scandanavian company but would like to find something closer. Chocolat-Chocolat has a nice wooden box but it has been out of supply for months.

I'll try the search to see if I can spot something else. I'm hoping someone with knowledge of transfer printing can give me a heads up on the printers used. Thanks.

We've had a couple great threads on sources for packaging. There was a thread on this topic about a week ago. You can read thru our pages.........because your likely to stumble upon more info. that relates to your interests. We've had many threads that should interest you.

Or you can use our search feature.

I don't have much luck using our most obvious search buttoms, the rectangular boxes with blue go buttons....located on the upper right side of each page.  BUT if you go to the very top of our page (when you can't scroll any higher) you'll see on the upper right side links to: Imagegullet, The Daily Gullet, RecipeGullet, Help, Search, Members, Calender. Using the search button there works with much more detail with-in our site. The difference between what you'll find using that search feature and the other are night and day, imo.

Then narrow your focus to P & B Forum and enter words that relate to what your looking for: Chocolate boxes, display cases, guittar cutters, etc....

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Thanks and good luck, how did everything turn out?

Well, no news so far, still waiting for news from the baker. At least now I'm prepared! :raz:

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Petty much most companies can make custom transfer sheets for you. Usually they start with a $150.00 set up fee for each design.

american chocolate designs will do this for you, they have alot of designs allready check them out

sweet swiss did my logo for me

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Thanks, I actually was in Atlanta last week where American Chocolate Designs is located but I think I'd like to see about producing my own transfers, in house. The cost may be too high but I'd like to find out what equipment is needed, do you have any ideas? I'm sure its a printer that can use food dye/cocoa butter on acetate but I don't know where to look. Thanks

Petty much most companies can make custom transfer sheets for you. Usually they start with a $150.00 set up fee for each design.

american chocolate designs will do this for you, they have alot of designs allready check them out

sweet swiss did my logo for me

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Before you order from DR, check the shipping rates. They wanted to charge over $30 to send 2 molds across Canada.

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Do you know about the Philadelphia National Candy Show? It's not a huge show, but it is a very helpful one.

I checked your info page, but there was no information about what area you are from. If you are in the Phila area, this is the show you want to go to. All of the chocolate manufacturers, both high end and low end, have booths there, as well as all of the major and many minor chocolate equipment companies. Also chocolate mold companies, and many other suppliers that you would want to know about.

They also have packaging vendors and suppliers for gift baskets, custom and stock box manufacturers, and a lot more.

The show runs from 9/11-9/13. Before I sold my business I always found this to be an extremely helpful show. Give yourself several hours to do the show right.

Good luck!

BTW, I used and loved Hilliard's chocolate tempering machines and cooling cabinets. They have a good warranty and if you ever have a problem you can get help over the phone. They will walk you through replacing fuses, belts, anything.

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I agree that the Philadelphia National Candy, Gift & Gourmet Show at the Valley Forge, Pa Convention Center would be worth attending. The show is held every Sept. and January. The Sept. show will be the last one held in Valley Forge. Starting in January it will be held in the Atlantic City Convention Center January 8-10. For information on both shows contact www.rcaphila.org.

As for tempering machines, I also love my Hilliard machines. I've had my Little Dipper and 80 lb. melter/temperer for years with very few problems (other than burned out light bulbs). Hilliard machines are easy to operate and rarely need servicing. If you do encounter a problem, you can have your questions answered immediately by speaking to the head of the company Jim Bourne or his right hand man, Jim Connelly. There are fancier machines but nobody gives you the kind of service and personal attention that you get from Hilliards.

Tomric Plastics always has a very large selection of moulds in their booth as does JKV from Holland. I highly recommend both companies.

If you do attend, stop by and see me. I'll be demonstrating in the Peter's Chocolate booth and will be happy to answer questions and offer suggestions.

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Thanks for the info. I'm located in Tampa and won't be able to attend the show. I've looked at the Hilliard webpage and it sounds like a good source from your feedback.

If anyone attends and can get some information on printing equipment I would really appreciate it. It seems to be something people know very little about. I'm curious what type of equipment is used to produce transfers. I know there is a company in CA that prints off of a printer using food dye but I'm curious what type of equipment is used by PCB and ACD for their products. It's probably very expensive but I'd like to understand the process better. Thanks again.

I agree that the Philadelphia National Candy, Gift & Gourmet Show at the Valley

Forge, Pa Convention Center would be worth attending.  The show is held every Sept. and January.  The Sept. show will be the last one held in Valley Forge.  Starting in January it will be held in the Atlantic City Convention Center January 8-10.  For information on both shows contact www.rcaphila.org.

As for tempering machines, I also love my Hilliard machines.  I've had my Little Dipper and 80 lb. melter/temperer for years with very few problems (other than burned out light bulbs). Hilliard machines are easy to operate and rarely need servicing.  If you do encounter a problem, you can have your questions answered immediately by speaking to the head of the company Jim Bourne or his right hand man, Jim Connelly.  There are fancier machines but nobody gives you the kind of service and personal attention that you get from Hilliards.

Tomric Plastics always has a very large selection of moulds in their booth as does JKV from Holland.  I highly recommend both companies.

If you do attend, stop by and see me.  I'll be demonstrating in the Peter's Chocolate booth and will be happy to answer questions and offer suggestions.

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The Philadelphia National Candy show looks good, but does anyone have a recommendation for the West Coast? Looking for a good event to meet a variety of suppliers and/or get some exposure for my chocolates.

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