Greetings everyone. I just got back from holidays and I had the opportunity to go to Moonstruck Chocolates in Portland. I had read many good reviews about their chocolates and when I had the opportunity to try them..I was not overly impressed. They are designed to have a shelf life and I could notice that in the texture and taste of the product. Nonetheless, I was pleased to be able to check them out. Unfortunately, I did not know that Chocosphere also was in the Portland Oregon area, so I never made it to their shop. I eventually made it to Seattle and checked out another chocolate shop down in the Pikes Market area. The owner was very kind and we had a good talk about tempering machines. I told her I was looking for a tempering machine and that I am leaning very heavily towards a Hilliards table top. Before I could say anything more she very abruptly told me to stay away from Chocovision. I said I know I have been to hell and back with those people. She said that she purchased three machines from them and the machines gave her trouble and she also said that as soon as the warranty was up they literally broke down. She encouraged me to go to the New York chocolate show and stand by Chocovisions booth and to warn anyone that goes near them!! So, I am not the only person to have a nightmare experience with Chocovison. She also told me how rude customer services was as well. Again, I told her they were terrible to deal with.
Now to change the mood of my posting, I am thinking of opening a chocolate shop. I have had Christmas customers for several years and I think I am ready to step out and open a shop. Does anyone have any advice? I make all my own fillings with natural, not artificial products. I consider myself a puritan! My customers have stopped buying from Bernard Callebaut as they like mine better. Anyhow, I take great pride in my chocolate making. Please give me any advice that you might have.