May 29, 2005
I am going to visit an old roommate and she lives in Phoenix. Does anyone know of any artisan or high end chocolate stores. I have mentioned in other postings that I want to open my own store and I am trying to visit as many other stores as possible for ideas and of course to chat with the owners. Also any advice of marketing strategies etc. is greatly appreciated.
deb in Calgary.
October 20, 2005
for what its worth, I know of 3 chocolate stores here in Australia that do very well and all have the ability for the consumer to watch the chocolates being made. Ie., large glass walls seperating the "shop" from the "kitchen" where the consumer can look through the glass and watch the chocolate in the tempering machine, you using the moulds etc. Obviously a good size shop helps, but I've seen it done in a city store measuring approx. 5m by 10m. Its amzing how much people like watching chocs being made
August 1, 2006
At Martine's Chocolate in NY (www.martineschocolates.com), all chocolates are also made by hand in front of the customer, but there is no glass here. The aroma permeating the air is to die for. Although her chocolates use traditional flavors, she also has some interesting techniques and makes everything from scratch. Excellent chocolate for anyone in the NY area.
The best thing to do when you arrive in Phoenix is to use the phone book and look up the following words: chocolate, candy, confection. Then you will be able to locate any store that specializes in these things. Also, check out gourmet or specialty food stores as well and just ask around. Maybe ask your friend to compile a list before you get there to save time. This is what I do and have met with great success so far. I think there's a Bernard Callebaut shop in Phoenix, but since you're Canadian, I doubt you have interest with that.
But wherever you open your store, you must take into account your clientele and if they are open to gourmet chocolate. Can they afford a chocolate bar, and if so, are they willing to pay up to $10 per bar? What other store are around? If there are wine shops and other food stores, you might want to add to that. Are you going to make chocolates, or merely sell them? Investigate the area first to see if there are already chocolate stores and what they sell. If you want to cater to all tastes, such as the young, elderly, and everyone in between, then you have to offer a wide rage of products that everyone likes. The elderly won't go for the exotic flavors and high cocoa content bars of today so offer something they would like, such as caramels, turtles, and bars from their childhood.
I could go on...I used to be in the business but have moved on to higher education! Maybe one day I will be able to open my store too [8D]
August 6, 2006
I don't now anything about Phoenix but here is a link labeled "10 Places to Satisfy a Chocolate Craving":
"Porcelana: The Holy Grail of Pure Criollos" (Maricel E. Presilla)
May 29, 2005
Thanks for your input everyone. I went into the Martines's website and that is exactly what I do. I make everything from scratch. It's funny because when I make chocolate at home I have people that will come over and watch and are completely absorbed by what I am doing! I am very pleased that you gave me Martines link...thanks Montegrano. Bernard Callebaut lives here in Calgary and I have been to his production facility several times. He has done very well.
August 1, 2006
No problem. Jacques Torres also has a factory in NY that people can look into as well. Here, all stages of production can be seen, not only in the creation of the products (bars, coated items, etc.), but the actual chocolate itself. You can see all this from outside and inside, so it's quite easy to take pictures.