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Ideas for a chocolate shop
January 9, 2006
12:27 am
mui mui
liphook, United Kingdom
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[:)][:)] Hello.... I hope you all had a very merry christamas and your stockings were filled with fab chocs over the festive season!!!!!!

I was wondering if you would mind giving me some ideas? I am looking to open a chocolate shop this year around september time and was looking for any tips, Ideas, Things that you would like to see, Health and safety regs ,products that may even tempt you to buy.

I would be greatful for any feedback given and when the shop opens I will be sure to hand out some freebies to ideas used.

Thank you for your time and look foward to hearing from you soon

j*

January 9, 2006
2:18 am
Hans-Peter Rot
USA
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If anyone received chocolate in their stocking, I hope the fire wasn't lit before Christmas [;)]

At any rate, visit this thread:

http://www.seventypercent.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=613&SearchTerms=shop

Hope that helps a bit. What kind of shop do you plan to open, btw? Is it retail or will you be doing any chocolate making?

January 10, 2006
12:45 am
mui mui
liphook, United Kingdom
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LOL good point !!! [:p]

I will be producing as well as stocking some cool products thanks for the thread

best wishes

j*[:)]

January 10, 2006
5:48 am
Hans-Peter Rot
USA
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No problem. Good luck to you too.

January 12, 2006
12:04 am
deb
Calgary, Canada
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May 29, 2005
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mui mui I am in exactly the same situation as you. I am researching what equipment to buy etc. I would like to know what all of you shop owners would recommend as must have equipment for getting started. I know that a tempering machine will be number 1 on the list. I could use all and any advice all of you have to offer.
deb.

January 12, 2006
12:30 pm
Sebastian
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I have a list of used equipment from a large retail store who is liquidating their assets (mixers, melters, enrobers, marble tables, dippers, etc etc -it's multiple pages long). If you're interested in it, give me an email with your fax number and I can fax the contact info to you or give a number for you to call.

January 13, 2006
4:37 am
patsikes
Tampa Bay Area, FL, USA
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I too am in the same boat. We have been in business for about a year, however we do not have a retail space. We rent kitchen space by the hour and make our products about one a month or to order. We sell online, wholesale, word of mouth, and craft shows. We would like to find a retail space with a kitchen in the next year.

I visited Martine's in NYC in November as mentioned in the other thread. I liked the smallish size and you felt right in the middle of the action, although they were very messy.

I also visited Le Mason du Chocolat, Tusher, Dylan's Candy Bar, and a couple other shops while there.

The highlight though was Jacques Torres' shop in Manhattan. The place was beautiful and Jacques was there that day and took time to talk with us about his business and ours. He even signed my box!

As for equipment, we use Chocovision Rev X3210 tempering machines. They work well and do about 10lb/5kg at a time. We hand mold our truffles, which gives us the ability to use a very soft ganache which our clients love.

Patrick Sikes
P.S. I Love You Fine Chocolates
http://www.psiloveyouchocolates.com

Patrick Sikes www.MyChocolateJournal.com
January 15, 2006
5:57 am
deb
Calgary, Canada
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Patrick, What was the size of Martines shop? I am very interested in their concept of an open area for everyone to see and smell. I am curious about how much space they use for their shop. Do you have any pictures?
Thanks
Deb.

January 15, 2006
3:06 pm
ellie
london, United Kingdom
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There's a link to Martine's shop in Monte's thread above, and a pic on site, just click on the main frame at Home, if it helps.

January 15, 2006
3:53 pm
Hans-Peter Rot
USA
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Yeah, that's right. I visited Martine's on several occassions, and the shop is quite small. There are two locations, actually: the main front is inside Bloomingdales on the 6th floor, and several blocks down from it is the second one. Easy to get to, though, all you do is take the subway until you arrive on 82nd (I think).

At any rate, the shop is just big enough to house the working area to the left, the chocolate display to the right, and a counter in the back, but it's not exactly what I call constricting; it could comfortably hold quite a few people. But considering the type of operation she's running, you'd expect something much larger.

January 15, 2006
5:55 pm
deb
Calgary, Canada
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So what do you think is the square footage of the shop? I have gone into the website but the pictures only show a little bit. It would be nice to see more pictures of the shop.

January 17, 2006
5:13 pm
patsikes
Tampa Bay Area, FL, USA
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I am thinking that it might be about 18-21 feet (~4-5m) wide and twice as deep. This was at the Bloomindales location. The back of the shop was quite a mess. They had an "office" area that you could see they used to pay the bills and do that type of work.

The working side of the shop had maybe 12-14 feet of counter space max. They had two "wheel type" tempering machines with vibrating tables on them.

The biggest negative to the shop was cleanliness. They two guys making the bonbons were covered (head to toe) in chocolate. They were wiping it on their shirts and pants, one guy had a chocolate smudge on his face. And this is all right in front of the customer...reach over the glass and you could dip into the tempering machine.

The other side of the shop had a display counter.

The cash register was in the back of the shop, so you had to work your way through people to the back of the shop to pay (and look at the office mess).

I think you could make a nice place in that much space... I just think they were to the point where they needed more space to keep up appearances and production.

Patrick Sikes
P.S. I Love You Fine Chocolates
http://www.psiloveyouchocolates.com

Patrick Sikes www.MyChocolateJournal.com
February 27, 2006
2:46 pm
Dale
United Kingdom
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We too are opening a chocolate shop in April / May in Norfolk.
It's only a small shop 7x4m but am very excited!!
At the moment we are trying to decide what tempering unit to use - either just a melting tank and then hand tempering, or a chocovision X 3210 or a prefermac 15kg) We hae just been on 'chocolate tour' in London at the weekend visiting all the chocolate shops. Needless to say we came home with sore feet and too much chocolate! but it gave us the chcnce to do a huge taste test. not only did we have the chocs from the london shops (la maison, roccos, l'atisan, pierre marcolini, choc society, pressat etc) we tasted chocs from potential suppliers browns, montizumas, etc. what a evening we had.
we invited some friend round for another voice and we had a few shockers and some stunners. Browns & montizumas what a dissapointment, we even had to intruce a spitoon as they were terrible, but the overall winner..........L'artisan du chocolate.
So now we have decided to make our own. We used to do this several years ago but stopped for a while due to having a baby then time got in the way. It's a massive stpe but hope to be worth it in the end.
Now we have to do masses of trials and now buy more machinery eg guitar cutters to save time.
You will have to visit when we are ready!!

D Skipper

www.thechocolatedeli.co.uk
March 4, 2006
4:46 am
deb
Calgary, Canada
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Dale I am considering using Hilliards Chocolate sytems and going with the 6 inch coater and then buying their small table top as a second machine. And yes, it is a massive step and even a little scary to consider going into the chocolate business. Oh, what did you think of Roccoco's?
Now, going back to Martine's shop, did any of you who have visited the store think that they attracted a crowd to watch what they are doing? Was the open concept worth it..did it increase business? I really like their concept but I have never been to their store to see it firsthand. It sounds like the store was only about 800 square feet, does that seem correct. Patrick I know in your previous post you gave the dimension (approximately).

March 6, 2006
4:20 pm
patsikes
Tampa Bay Area, FL, USA
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The open work area did draw them in! There were probably 10 people in the shop when we were in watching/looking/buying and then we sat at a table that was in the hall to try thier confections and watched the mass of people move in and out of the shop.

Now, we were there on Thanksgiving weekend...so that may have someting to do with it.....

Patrick Sikes
P.S. I Love You Fine Chocolates
http://www.psiloveyouchocolates.com

Patrick Sikes www.MyChocolateJournal.com
March 6, 2006
8:57 pm
gap
Melbourne, Australia
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deb - there's a store in Melbourne called Koko Blacks which is doing very well at the moment. They also have an "open kitchen" (open as you can see in through the glass walls). I always see people standing watching them make the chocolates, as do I. And I am sure that seeing the chocolates made by hand adds something when you go in to purchase. The chocolatiers all wear smart white chef outfits etc and play the part well - they realise they are on display while making the chocolates and they seem to enjoy it.

March 6, 2006
9:48 pm
Dale
United Kingdom
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This is just what l wanted to do, it,s only a tiny shop but to make the most of it l thourght making the chocolate infront of customers would realy draw them in, and then tell their friends to come and look at the chocolatier at work.
Very scary thourght though, bit like a performing monkey.
where my shop is located it's in a small village on the just off the north norfolk coast,there will also be a farm shop which is also trying to teach the kids where food comes from. itwill be great to tell the kids where chocolate comes from, showing them cocoa pods & beans etc. anybody know of a small conching machine? or something more hands on the kids could maybe use?

D Skipper

www.thechocolatedeli.co.uk
March 6, 2006
11:18 pm
patsikes
Tampa Bay Area, FL, USA
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I know I have seen a "home" conching machine available that would probably fit your needs with the kids. I will try to find it.

As promised: From Chocolate Alchemy http://www.chocolatealchemy.co...../index.php

They have all the equipment and supplies to make your own chocolate from the bean on a very small scale.

Patrick Sikes
P.S. I Love You Fine Chocolates
http://www.psiloveyouchocolates.com

Patrick Sikes www.MyChocolateJournal.com
June 6, 2006
8:57 pm
Damian
London, United Kingdom
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June 6, 2006
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quote:


Originally posted by Sebastian

I have a list of used equipment from a large retail store who is liquidating their assets (mixers, melters, enrobers, marble tables, dippers, etc etc -it's multiple pages long). If you're interested in it, give me an email with your fax number and I can fax the contact info to you or give a number for you to call.


July 3, 2006
6:33 pm
Gingerbread Man
United Kingdom
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July 3, 2006
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Hi Guys,

I'm just starting to do a feasibility study on opening a small retail chocolate shop in quite an affluent market town in the south east of England. Could anybody help me with subjects such as:

how to do my market research in terms of demand analysis;
how to construct my business plan;
how to source suppliers;

I have some ideas of my own, but why reinvent the wheel if you guys might be able to help.

IThanks for ay assistance or pointers that you might be able to give me.

Ideas for a chocolate shop | Chocolate business | Forum