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tammylc

Adventures in Starting a Chocolate Business

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Another question.

When you get the health inspection at the kitchen, do they want to check your recipes to see if they match your ingredients labels?

Also anyother usefull tips to get ready for the Health inspector?

Like do you bring all the stuff you are going to use during production or just the basic to show the inspector and also do they ask you to make something while the inspection? Haha I dont perform well with people looking at me LOL.

Thank you so much for all your help!!! :wub:

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When I had my inspection, the only thing she really cared about was that I knew how to set up and test the sanitizing sink for dishwashing. She looked at my labels and made some comments, but that was pretty much it. YMMV, of course, as every state and every inspector is different.

I didn't have to demonstrate any production. i store my equipment the kitchen i use, so she may have looked at that a little bit, but it wasn't a big deal.

Good luck!

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Thank you Tammy , as usuall so fast to answer my thousend questions!! :smile:

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Hi Vanessa,

Just thought I'd chip in with my recent experience (New York State). We rent a kitchen and cart everything we use back and forth each time we do production. Our inspector was keen to understand every phase of the process - ingredients (we nearly came to blows over my ganache recipe!), how we'd store and transport our ingredients and equipment, what tools we'd be using, what we'd be storing the marshmallow in to transport it to the company where we have it enrobed, how long it'd be stored and where, where and how our excess inventory would be stored, how and where we'd do packaging, what our labels and bags looked like and were made of, when we'd be producing - I forget what else, but he was thorough to say the least.

He said he was not as hard on us as he is on some - apparently he regards chocolate as a potentially hazardous product due to the working temperature range. I can't quite figure that one out...

I brought labels, bags, and the cambro pans we use for storage/transport, and seeing those seemed to satisfy him.

I suspect you know an awful lot more about chocolate and confectionery than any inspector - just rely on your knowledge, careful processes and terrific work and you'll do fine!

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Patty , Thank you so much for sharing your experience!

I figured they would want to know all those things, expecially when they dont have too much experience in the confectionery chocolate field.I suspect they will want us to follow the same rules as a meat processing company :laugh:

I will reread all the code I have downloaded and have all the packaging labels and containers ready, also my recipes book is been completed and I will have a copy for him/her to check.I need to get some more containers ( I guess they need to be commercial grade right) .I dont know if I wan to store my stuff in the kitchen.For now it will be jusy me but you know.I think I will be carry my stuff in big containers and do what you do now.

Thank you again very much

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Hi,

thought I would chime in. I usually have to do a big yearly inspection and then one every 6 months to get updated info or review things with the inspector. I have had two different inspectors in the last year, so then I have to do a big inspection again.

The yearly inspection involves the inspector watching me while I actually work. She usually talks or asks questions while I am working. Pretty much a check list is followed for little things like hand washing, gloves, temperatures, etc. My kitchen is inspected once a month, so she doesnt focus on equipment or the surroundings as much as she does on my process.

I too tote everything back and forth in containers. I do have to buy ingredients and bring them in sealed. i.e., no used home kitchen ingredients.

She does look at the labeling and packaging.

And finally storage of the finished product. I am in my kitchen twice monthly and then deliver the day after production, so she seemed ok with this. But long term storage, I would need to rent space in the kitchen.

I think if you go in prepared you will be fine!

Goodluck!

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gallery_11197_5584_41525.jpg

gallery_11197_5584_85238.jpg

Thank you very much for posting the pictures.

I have a question, how does the bottom part gets enrobed?

The grid rack that the enrobed chocolates sit on - are they stainless steel?

Doesn't the bottom enrobed part stick to it?

I do a lot of enrobing, but with cookies. I dip them piece by piece by hand. And it's an extremely time-consuming process. I would love to be able to just arrange the cookies on a grid of some kind and immerse a whole batch in chocolate and presto! Enrobed cookies.

The way I do them right now is to use a dipping fork, and then tap the excess chocolate and let them set on wax paper.

I tried to just dip them (no tapping to save time) and set them on a cooling rack to let the chocolate drain off but the dipped cookies stuck to the rack. :wacko:

Or is there a special rack for chocolates that won't make them stick?

gallery_17803_917_71186.jpg

I am not very particular about 'feet' because they'll end up in mini paper cups anyways so teeny tiny feets are ok. :biggrin:

gallery_17803_917_24954.jpg

p.s. sorry, i don't know why my pics are so small. i'll try to figure out how to size it here. :unsure:

p.p.s. ok, now they're too big. LOL!


Edited by JustKay (log)

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Thank you very much for posting the pictures.

I have a question, how does the bottom part gets enrobed?

The grid rack that the enrobed chocolates sit on - are they stainless steel?

Doesn't the bottom enrobed part stick to it?

I do a lot of enrobing, but with cookies. I dip them piece by piece by hand. And it's an extremely time-consuming process. I would love to be able to just arrange the cookies on a grid of some kind and immerse a whole batch in chocolate and presto! Enrobed cookies.

The way I do them right now is to use a dipping fork, and then tap the excess chocolate and let them set on wax paper.

I tried to just dip them (no tapping to save time) and set them on a cooling rack to let the chocolate drain off but the dipped cookies stuck to the rack.  :wacko:

Or is there a special rack for chocolates that won't make them stick? 

gallery_34671_3115_5348.jpg

As you can see in this picture - the chocolates 'march' off the chain onto a wax paper sheet. The bottoms get dipped in the process. You do actually bottom the ganache with chocolate before putting them through the enrober to prevent them from sticking to the chain.

It is a stainless chain.

Dipping racks won't work as you and I both have found out the hard way (picture a couple of dozen truffle mice growing though the bottom of a rack).

Your dipping looks excellent actually - so I'd keep doing it that way until you are ready to invest in an enrober.

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Thanks. How come I missed that picture you posted?! :rolleyes: I was wondering how it got to the wax paper. :raz:

So, the ganache has to be bottom-coated with chocolate before putting on the chain, eh?

Yeah, I guess I can dip them fine the way I do it now (and thanks for saying 'excellent' :biggrin: ) but when I have like 10,000 cookies to dip in a month I go :wacko: It's only that high a number during the festive season though but still, with the baking and making other cookies too ... like I said I go :wacko: :wacko:

I don't think I'll ever be able to invest in an enrober. I'm just a home baker.


Edited by JustKay (log)

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Thanks. How come I missed that picture you posted?!  :rolleyes: I was wondering how it got to the wax paper.  :raz:

So, the ganache has to be bottom-coated with chocolate before putting on the chain, eh?

Yeah, I guess I can dip them fine the way I do it now (and thanks for saying 'excellent'  :biggrin: ) but when I have like 10,000 cookies to dip in a month I go  :wacko:  It's only that high a number during the festive season though but still, with the baking and making other cookies too ...  like I said I go  :wacko: :wacko: 

I don't think I'll ever be able to invest in an enrober. I'm just a home baker.

10,000 cookies in a month? Sounds like you're more than "just a home baker"!! :shock::biggrin:

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Hi! Your cookies look devine! I love the the little cup color combo with the cookies and Pistachios? They are very attractive! And yes, 10,000? At home? To me they look perfect. Send one!

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I've been hoping that someone would come out with an enrober small enough and inexpensive enough for a 'home' business. I was searching last night actually and there are a couple of units that might be small (hard to tell from the pictures) but no idea of the prices on them.

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10,000 cookies in a month? Sounds like you're more than "just a home baker"!! :shock:  :biggrin:

:laugh: Didn't I say that only happens during the festive season? The Eid, actually.

Eid = a Muslim celebration after the fasting month.

Hi! Your cookies look devine! I love the the little cup color combo with the cookies and Pistachios? They are very attractive! And yes, 10,000? At home? To me they look perfect. Send one!

Thank you. Yeah, I call them Pistachio Dreams. Pistachio cookies with a whole pistachio center, enrobed in white chocolate and sprinkled with ground pistachio and some gold dust.

I make several types of enrobed cookies. I've added molded chocolates and truffles last season and I hope to add a couple more 'new' treats this year. I also hope to be able to get hired help for those busy months.

During the off-season, I sell cakes and desserts.

I work from home. In my country, we don't need to get license for small home-based business like this. :biggrin:

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I've been hoping that someone would come out with an enrober small enough and inexpensive enough for a 'home' business.  I was searching last night actually and there are a couple of units that might be small (hard to tell from the pictures) but no idea of the prices on them.

Which units are you referring too?

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I've been hoping that someone would come out with an enrober small enough and inexpensive enough for a 'home' business.  I was searching last night actually and there are a couple of units that might be small (hard to tell from the pictures) but no idea of the prices on them.

Yes! I keep searching for one.

I wish there is a way to rig something up ... like using a chocolate fountain ... but how to get something to rest the chocolate on without them being stuck? Maybe if they make silicone or waxed grid racks.

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I've been hoping that someone would come out with an enrober small enough and inexpensive enough for a 'home' business.  I was searching last night actually and there are a couple of units that might be small (hard to tell from the pictures) but no idea of the prices on them.

Yes! I keep searching for one.

I wish there is a way to rig something up ... like using a chocolate fountain ... but how to get something to rest the chocolate on without them being stuck? Maybe if they make silicone or waxed grid racks.

The problem would be the pieces resting on the grid and the bottoming chocolate between the grid locking it in place. That would happen no matter what the material it was constructed of. The answer would be to make a chain grid like an enrober that you could turn to get the pieces off.

If you go that far, though it isn't all that much further to building a small pump and creating a small hand cranked enrober...

I wonder just how difficult it would be to build an enrober "head" that would sit on and use a 6Kg Mol'dArt melter. I examined the enrober at the FPS and the mechanics are really rather simple. In essence it's just a pump pouring chocolate over a curving metal band to form a double curtain of chocolate over a powered chain belt. The back part of the belt has a vibrator to knock off excess chocolate, but that shouldn't be difficult to include. Oh, and a hot air blower to keep everything warm, but that isn't a deal breaker either.

The continuous tempering machine it sits on is what makes it expensive, but I wonder if it couldn't just be replaced with a large pool of tempered chocolate in a melter. One would have to temper it to start and keep and eye on it, but for the length of time it would take to enrobe a few hundred pieces it shouldn't be a huge problem.

Can anyone tell me why I'm deluded and should give up on the idea?

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Never give up on an idea. The world is full of people who say you can't do it - that is until someone proves them wrong and does it. Then those are the people who say 'i thought of that first!' 8-)

I think it's a wonderful idea. An after market 'insert' that fits into a little dipper, or a mol d'art as an add on is a great idea.

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Never give up on an idea.  The world is full of people who say you can't do it - that is until someone proves them wrong and does it.  Then those are the people who say 'i thought of that first!' 8-)

I think it's a wonderful idea.  An after market 'insert' that fits into a little dipper, or a mol d'art as an add on is a great idea.

I don't know that I'll go into business making them, but I could possibly do for enrobing what I did for the preceding process. I've already documented an inexpensive design for a home built guitar cutter in another thread. An inexpensive enrober head for a melter would be a logical next step.

I like the idea of using a chocolate fountain for the pump. Would that work with normal chocolate (not thinned to death with vegetable oil)? Or are there simpler pumps that won't be destroyed if it sets up?

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i have to say that even the selmi doesnt deliver a really "perfect" bottom. thats why we bottom every piece beforehand. the bottom gets pretty good though if you find a good cooperation between speed, de-tailing wave and "tapping device" (forgive me, but i really don know the correct terms).

you really have to "play around" a lot...

cheers

t.

p.s. considering the price this machine is still very very much worth the money. in the end you can always buy a sollich for 4x the price. ;-)


Edited by schneich (log)

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Which units are you referring too?

A couple I was looking at are this one - the Nielson Baby Flex and this little Chocoma.

This little Sollich minicoater caught my eye as well.

Then there is the little Dedy machine.

Then there is this little Italian machine.

The problem would be the pieces resting on the grid and the bottoming chocolate between the grid locking it in place.  That would happen no matter what the material it was constructed of.  The answer would be to make a chain grid like an enrober that you could turn to get the pieces off.

If you go that far, though it isn't all that much further to building a small pump and creating a small hand cranked enrober...

I wonder just how difficult it would be to build an enrober "head" that would sit on and use a 6Kg Mol'dArt melter.  I examined the enrober at the FPS and the mechanics are really rather simple.  In essence it's just a pump pouring chocolate over a curving metal band to form a double curtain of chocolate over a powered chain belt.  The back part of the belt has a vibrator to knock off excess chocolate, but that shouldn't be difficult to include.  Oh, and a hot air blower to keep everything warm, but that isn't a deal breaker either.

The continuous tempering machine it sits on is what makes it expensive, but I wonder if it couldn't just be replaced with a large pool of tempered chocolate in a melter.  One would have to temper it to start and keep and eye on it, but for the length of time it would take to enrobe a few hundred pieces it shouldn't be a huge problem.

Can anyone tell me why I'm deluded and should give up on the idea?

Not deluded at all. I know that my husband could build something like this with no problem at all, but since I'm 7 years into the basement renovation with no end in sight, I know this isn't going to happen. Let us see your design as it develops - OK?

I did find a website last night where you can buy the stainless chains for your unit once you get it built. Here you go.

One other thought - is there some other product out there, perhaps used for another purpose that could be adapted.

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That's quite a list of small enrobers. What is the price of the least expensive one?

Thanks for the link for the wire belts.

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That's quite a list of small enrobers.  What is the price of the least expensive one?

Thanks for the link for the wire belts.

I have no idea of the cost on any of them actually.

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I'm in the middle of starting my business and buying chocolate polycarbonate molds. I'm having a hard time finding a Cocoa Pod mold. Anyone know where I can get 2 or 3 of these.

Thanks,

Angela

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That's quite a list of small enrobers.  What is the price of the least expensive one?

Thanks for the link for the wire belts.

I have no idea of the cost on any of them actually.

I found the following for enrobers, http://www.probake.com/chocolate.htm

They range from $10,000 and up.

I think we used the the following at The French Pastry School

http://www.pcb-creation.fr/2k3/novachoc_uk/tempereuses.htm

I'm sure this one is probably $40,000 or more. If I remember right, the instructions were in French.

Angela

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I'm in the middle of starting my business and buying chocolate polycarbonate molds.  I'm having a hard time finding a Cocoa Pod mold.  Anyone know where I can get 2 or 3 of these.

Thanks,

Angela

Try choclat - chocolat, I ve seen them there before.

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