How to Start a Chocolate business
Top Tips for how to start a Chocolate Business
Practical Advice from the Experts at Vantage House
Deciding What to Make
Deciding which products you are going to make is an essential part of your planning. Here are some ideas to get you thinking:
- Solid bars – the least time consuming and probably the easiest way to make money, however, you will need to be innovative with your flavours as there are so many on the market already.
- Artisan products such as Bean to Bar or Origin chocolates
- Moulded solid figures such as wedding favours
- Filled pralines
- Hollow figures such as Shoes, Father Christmas and Easter Bunnies
- Vegetarian or Vegan Products
- Organic and/or Fair Trade (bear in mind you will need certification for these)
Where are you going to make and sell your chocolates?
How to start a chocolate business from home UK
A Shop or Online Store
You may be considering opening a retail outlet, if so, you’d need to delve a bit deeper into the research here. Questions you’d need to ask yourself are: are there other chocolate shops in the area? What is the footfall in the area? Who is your target market?
If you’re considering selling online, you will need a good website offering your customers a great shopping experience that looks professional and is easy to use. You will need to be able to keep up with the orders offering a realistic lead time and produce goods that will travel well. Don’t forget, you will need suitable packaging to protect your delicious chocolate whilst it’s travelling and it’s also important to think about environmental sustainability.
Are you starting on your own or will you need staff? For example, if you are going to be working from retail premises you will need someone making the products and someone else selling them.
Are you considering selling at Farmers Markets? It’s a really good way to ‘test the water’ and see how popular your product might be, but just remember you are at the mercy of the weather. The winter brings cold, rain and wind meaning you will not have as many customers coming out and in the summer you have the different struggles of heat and sun to deal with, which are not ideal conditions for chocolate!
If you decide farmers markets are the right route for you to go down, think about the best ways you can prepare your business for the weather. For example, you might want to think about investing in a sturdy structure that can protect you from the elements in the winter, and cool boxes big enough to store or even to display your creations in whilst it’s hot.
When you’ve settled on where you’re selling, you can decide how much you’re going to need to make. For example, would you like to produce 10 kilos per week or 10 kilos per day? Knowing this will help determine quantities of ingredients, what equipment you will need to buy and how many moulds (if you are going to use them) will be enough to make the business cost-effective.
Give us a call if you want to chat about how much chocolate you might need for what you’re hoping to produce. 01273 777 002 we’re just here to help and won’t push you into buying.
Once you have decided what you are selling, how much you plan to produce and where you’re selling it, you can get to the exciting bit of choosing your equipment! Make sure to take into consideration how much space you have available as equipment can come in different shapes and sizes.
The most important piece of equipment you will have to buy for your chocolate business.
* Bloom is when white or grey streaks, or cloud-like shapes, appear on the surface of the chocolate.
Chocolate Moulds for your Chocolate Business
When you know what you’re making, we can advise you on the best accessories that you’ll need to create the finest chocolates. You will need items such as dipping forks, pallet knives, spatulas, thermometers, bowls and scrapers. You can shop our range by clicking on the button below.
If you want more advice on this, of course you can just give us a call on 01273 777 002 and we’ll walk you through what everything does and make sure you’re not wasting money buying things that you won’t need.
Storage and Packaging
Now that you’ve worked out how much you’ll be making, you’ll have an idea of how much space you will need to store your confections. Your chocolate will need to be stored in cool and dry conditions, so make sure you have enough dedicated space to store your chocolates, away from anything that might spoil your chocolates and a place that meets food hygiene standards.
Once you have produced your chocolates you will need a way to package them so that they can be sold. If they are pralines/truffles or other small items this could be ballotins or boxes for a certain amount of chocolates, or for bars and other larger items you could use choc bar cartons and/or bags.
If you’re shipping out your items to your customers then you will also need postal boxes and secure packaging that will ensure they arrive in perfect condition.
If you have any questions about starting a chocolate business, just get in touch!
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