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Your dream chocolate shop
August 23, 2004
10:38 pm
cocoa1000
London, United Kingdom
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Hello!
I am writing a novel (as a hobby) about a chocolate shop, and while researching online, I came across this brilliant forum! I have been checking it out for sometime, even reading the topics in the archive. – I have a question for you all – What would your ‘dream’ chocolate shop be like? What would it sell? What would the shop interior be like? (Afterall, anything is possible in a ficticious world!) I would very much appreciate it if you could respond. Thanks in advance!

August 24, 2004
4:04 am
VonRock526
Long Island City, USA
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November 11, 2003
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Oh Gawd what a topic!!! Here goes, this is my dream scenerio:
The real estate would be a corner property. The outside sign would read my chocolate shoppe in Retro Fonts! The interior would have retro 1940s style black and white small marble tile. There would only be 8 small tables in black solid marble slab tops with Brass enclosures. (4 on each side with bar stools) There would be a clearing between each aisle of the 4 tables, all leading toward the rear of a bar. This bar is in Dark Cherrywood with a marble bar top in a terra cotta color! The rail of this Cherrywood will have a nice turned Brass. Everything served at this bar will have a chocolate flavored beverage served. What I would serve would be chocolate flavored coffee or expresso, chocolate malteds, of course chocolate phosphates or egg creams. The rear of the bar would have two etagieres in glass and mirror on each side of the corner. These would house all of the chocolates made on the premises. There is a door (head to foot in smoked mirror) that hides well in the interior, which leads to the workshop/shipping/warehouse. This is a room 22′x47′ with Steel shelving in the back for all the supplies needed for this chocolate shoppe. These shelves house all the chocolate and confectionery supplies. The other side of the shelves house all the company imprinted boxes, imprinted chocolate cups, trays , foils and candy trays to fit all the boxes. Oh, there is also another area for the hand dipping machine, the 30″ gas stove in the back with the various pans and cutters and recipe books, and the company computer is near the rear door leading to the garage outside.

August 24, 2004
9:09 am
cocoa1000
London, United Kingdom
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Wow, I love your shop! Retro/marble/brass. Precise to the measurements! I have had trouble trying to visualise what the back room/kitchen looked like, so thanks for your response. – Another inquiry: where and how would you keep your stock of chocolates that you’d use for making, and how much of it would you normally have inhouse?

August 24, 2004
2:27 pm
legodude
Norway
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May 21, 2004
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In a dream world people would come and buy enough quality chocolates and cakes to make the shop go around. But that is not going to happen in my town in my lifetime. When it comes to food, price is the most important.

[V]

"I`ve got lots of friends in San José. Do you know the way to San José?"
August 24, 2004
5:56 pm
cocoa1000
London, United Kingdom
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I find that people are slowly understanding that good quality food is worthy of paying extra. In London, we see ‘organic’ foods selling more and more now, and it is only a matter of time that the general public clues up to buying good chocolate too and hopefully pushes the giants to produce better stuff to compete! So I wouldn’t be so down on it Legodude! (Or is this too naive of me?) So.. what would your shop be like if lack of customers weren’t a problem? [;)]

August 24, 2004
10:54 pm
Lone Ly
Oslo, Norway
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October 10, 2003
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When I first saw this topic I thought it was posted by me … I actually thought of the same after visiting In’t Veld in Berlin. I guess I didn’t post the question because I would be too tempted to actually start my own business. I recall I (in my ‘dreams’) reckoned which brands that are and are not and shold have been available in my own country …

I’ll give a more essential answer after checking out more shops in London. All I can say by now is that my nightmare chocolate shop is Fortnum&Mason.

"Man cannot live by chocolate alone - but woman can." (Unknown)
August 25, 2004
7:48 am
Polarbear
Tromsø, Norway
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April 24, 2004
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The choc department at Harrods was a nightmare too; a lot of manufacturers, tons of pralines – and almost no bars….

Why is F&M a nightmare? I didn’t see much of Fortnum&Mason – before we went in I told my friend to knock me down if I bought anything there. Well, I think she let be because I only bought two Cluizel bars…

***
My name is Polarbear and I am a chocoholic…

*** My name is Polarbear and I am a chocoholic...
August 26, 2004
6:11 am
theobroma
MIlwaukee, USA
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September 7, 2003
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Hmm… a novel with keen attention to quantities…

I have been developing an aesthetic and a plan for a chocolate shop for over a year now, and fear it would be foolish to share much info now. I have most of the details sussed, and am living in a country where immitation can be a quite fatal stroke to a business.
It may eventually be a franchise, (positioned in such a way as to not compete with 70% of course). So those of you who are serious about running a chocolate shop and are considering entering a franchise, feel free to contact me via email.
As for novels, I have found that quantities and business info are hard to wrangle into appreciable drama. So, I wonder if our novelist wishes us to commend to him some of the more savory elements of the chocolate world… the cultivation, the mythology, the early uses of cocoa, the sensational tales of american and british chocolate moguls, the splendor and pomp of early industrial chocolate, or, quite obviously, the memorable stories from chocolate shops and the like…

best wishes to all,
kyle

Oh no! My Agustus!

Oh no! My Agustus!
August 26, 2004
1:00 pm
cocoa1000
London, United Kingdom
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July 29, 2004
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At the moment I am just researching on the subject, but I have a fair idea of what kind of story it is going to be – about a chocolate shop owner and his bizarre customers. I would also try to put precise details about chocolate, as ‘detail’ is key to a good read.
If any of you have great stories about chocolate shops (ie: What kind of people do you see in these places?) please share it with me! Thanks!

August 26, 2004
11:50 pm
Lone Ly
Oslo, Norway
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I am writing novels for fun (or maybe not …) myself, and I’d recommend you to do some research on your own, ie. spend some time outside a chocolate shop and look at the different customers entering. A kind advice for how to create plausible and genuine accounts of people is to watch them yourself and see what stories they tell by their mere presence. When others tell you stories you won’t get access to the level of details necessary for fiction, such as hair color, clothing, style of walking etc. Pierre Marcolini has a great location for ‘fieldwork’ like this as you can sit discretely at one of the cafes nearby.

"Man cannot live by chocolate alone - but woman can." (Unknown)
August 27, 2004
12:47 am
cocoa1000
London, United Kingdom
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Yes, thanks for your recommendation. I have been people watching too!

August 27, 2004
10:29 am
alex_h
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“…about a chocolate shop owner and his bizarre customers.”?
what bizarre customers?! ;-)

August 27, 2004
2:28 pm
cocoa1000
London, United Kingdom
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13

;-)

August 27, 2004
11:19 pm
Lone Ly
Oslo, Norway
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October 10, 2003
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The worst thing with Fortnum&Mason: Prices (5.5 GBP for Amedei Porcelana, 6 GBP for Pierre Marcolini (Harvey Nichols’s ‘only’ charging 5.75), tourists, ignorant staff, sortiment, interior. Toilets are nice though …

"Man cannot live by chocolate alone - but woman can." (Unknown)
August 28, 2004
3:52 pm
theobroma
MIlwaukee, USA
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September 7, 2003
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15

Cocoa1000,
you could have a big thing about the people coming in to the chocolate shop looking for her****s, i mean hershey’s, getting dismayed at not finding it, seeing no value in more expensive bars, walking off in a huff. The employees might laugh thereafter… yeah, I know, I’m no novelist. It was worth a try.
I suggest you read ‘the true history of chocolate’ for corollary info.
kyle

Oh no! My Agustus!

Oh no! My Agustus!
August 28, 2004
3:58 pm
theobroma
MIlwaukee, USA
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I know of bizarre things that happened in a coffee shop… I personally saw a man run around the front of one, dressed in his black boots, underwear, and a GI trench coat, hanging open, and running around in the shop, outside of the shop, all around, waving and revving a chainsaw…
Also, at the same place, there was a culture of illicit substances being sold under a particular table. A very very convincing undercover cop, by the name of Dog Soldier or something quasi-hip like that, had an eye on the business. Of course some arrests occured. This was very typical of the city, however, and the reason it had attracted particular attention from the law was that it was not run as a capitalist venture, but as a collective, and was very much appreciated locally for being so. If you wish to delve into the annals of recorded history, you may find leads with the name of the shop,
“Hard Times (cafe?)”
best of luck, let us know when you make some roughs or finals available.
kyle

Oh no! My Agustus!

Oh no! My Agustus!
August 28, 2004
5:29 pm
cocoa1000
London, United Kingdom
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17

Thanks Theobroma!!

August 28, 2004
9:23 pm
VonRock526
Long Island City, USA
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November 11, 2003
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18

quote:


Originally posted by cocoa1000

Wow, I love your shop! Retro/marble/brass. Precise to the measurements! I have had trouble trying to visualise what the back room/kitchen looked like, so thanks for your response. – Another inquiry: where and how would you keep your stock of chocolates that you’d use for making, and how much of it would you normally have inhouse?



In answer to your questions: I would keep the chocolates of all varieties (white, milk, semi-sweet 58%, Semi-sweet61%,bitter 73.5%)
all in cartons,closed,in the backroom storage shelves. Normally you need 22lbs of each element at all times!! When you get down to 3 kilos, that is time to re-order.

August 29, 2004
11:17 pm
cocoa1000
London, United Kingdom
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July 29, 2004
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I see! Thanks for responding to my question VonRock526! Though why not keep more than 10kg each as chocolate doesn’t go ‘off’… or does it?? Interesting to read the different percentage of cocoa content. Do you use them for specifics? Like certain percentage for ganache, then another for coating truffles for example…

August 30, 2004
12:28 pm
Martin Christy
London, United Kingdom
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July 31, 2006
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Some of the more specialist chocolatiers will invent different creations and flavour combinations in their chocolate using a range of couvertures – both origins and blends, so they may store many different types of chocolate.

A chocolatier with a serious production quantity will be buying and storing the chocolate by the tonne, to be able to buy at a good price. I’m not talking about factory produced chocolate here, but artisanal chocolatiers with large facilities in the shop, or more likely a separate production facility nearby.

Martin Christy
Editor
http://www.seventypercent.com

Martin Christy Editor www.seventypercent.com