Have you ever thought about starting your own candy business? Check out this guide on how to transform your love for chocolate into a business.
Most people are very fond of chocolate, and they are eager to buy tasty sweets. Chocolate arouses our passions and temps our bodies. Some people love working with chocolate so much that they want to dedicate their whole lives to it. Creating fine chocolates is a true art that requires knowledge, skills, and, most of all – love. If you possess those three traits, a career as a chocolatier may be the best path for you.
According to statistics, chocolate sales in 2020 alone amounted to nearly $19 billion in the U.S alone, and the market size is growing steadily. Here, you will find some tips on starting your own successful chocolate business and making your hobby a profitable job.
The first question you want to ask yourself is what kind of sweets you want to sell? You can choose from so many different types, for example, gourmet cakes, chocolate candies, everyday sweets, etc. Your vendors and clients will vary depending on your decision – e.g., if you decide on making only white chocolate products, you will need to find the best white chocolate for every purpose. Attempting to compete with giant companies may not be the best strategy and your chances of success rise when you choose a specialty like fair trade, vegan, or spicy sweets.
Every state has different laws regarding the food business, so you will need to determine the laws and regulations on the sale of products manufactured in a home kitchen. Most states will allow you to operate from home, but there may be some significant differences on how much you can sell or where you can sell your products. For example, Rhode Island allows selling chocolate only by farmers who also sell agricultural products worth at least $2500 a year.
After you research and understand the law, you should apply for all licenses you may need. You can meet with a certified public accountant experienced with dealing with small businesses, preferably also home-based. Any business that sells products needs a business or retail license. Employer Identification Number is issued by the federal government and is necessary for handling the company’s taxes.
Making your own food will require permission from the Health Department in order to receive necessary health code permits. Some local authorities may want you to have already chosen a trading name known as DBA.
If you want to have a successful business, you need to know your competition. Research their products and do your own analysis. You need to create something unique people won’t find in other stores, along with the regular, loved sweets.
In the beginning, you may want to focus on the local market. Catering for local people and events like weddings, birthday parties, or bar mitzvahs will be good for the start. You can also think about personalized products for various occasions like Father’s Day, Valentine’sDay, and so on. Use your imagination and don’t focus on clichés – new and creative ideas will always attract customers.
As a chocolate lover, you should know best what kind of equipment will be necessary for your kitchen. You can start small, but professional gear might be more beneficial in the long run. Large mixes, as well as various molds and pans, are required at a very minimum. You may want to create a list of everything you need. Some least obvious things you may want to buy include:
Even the best chocolatiers in the world need marketing. Otherwise, no one would even know they exist. There are many ways you can let people know about your new business, but the most effective way is to be present on social media. Take advantage of your location. If you are in an area with heavy pedestrian traffic, consider using sidewalk signs to help catch the attention of those passing by, and if there are clubs, beaches, or other recreational places, you can go around and give away free samples of your sweets along with the address and contact information.
Opening your business and being your own boss is a scary and challenging task. Nevertheless, if this is what you want to do, it’s worth the risk. If you want to stick around for the long haul, diversification and adaptability will be the keys. Always look for more opportunities and be open to try something new. Experiment with new tastes, products while offering your core sweets that will be recognized as your specialty. Take care of your customers, as they are the most important people to you and quickly respond to their needs. With a little luck and imagination, your chocolate business will be a huge success!