How to start a chocolate gift basket business...

by Connie
(Goa, India)

Hi Angie,


Your site has been truly amazing and very informative. I am from Goa and I'd like some information on how to start a chocolate gift basket business.


If you can, please let me know how to get started. Also, how can chocolates remain fresh for a longer period? If I put them up at some stores here, what is the shelf life and how can you help in letting me know how to keep them fresh even for a longer period?


I like to start with a plain recipe so please let me know which one from your site to select. Where will I get the food thermometer in India; any addresses?

Thank you so much.
Connie






Hi Connie,

Thanks for visiting my site and for your kind words about it. I'm really glad that you enjoy it.


Starting a chocolate gift basket business is a great idea. If you were planning to build your business online, I would not hesitate to recommend SiteBuildIt. That's how I learned to build this website business, and I had NO prior experience at all.


Even if you are just intending to build a local business, having a website presence is still a very good idea.


As for making chocolate candy baskets for the local area stores, that's a good idea too.


You'll need some type of basket or box to use as a base, a bit of filler and then whatever chocolate candy assortment you'd like to include.


Your biggest challenge will probably be the temperature in your area. Chocolate melts when it gets too warm.


If you can keep the chocolate gift baskets in a controlled temperature environment, they should last or keep for a few weeks or so at least.


Just don't choose recipes that call for highly perishable ingredients like truffles with cream cheese or cream, etc., unless you get special orders that aren't going to sit on a shelf for some time.


I'd start out by making simple things like chocolate covered nuts, chocolate covered pretzels, molded chocolates, etc. They don't take a lot of ingredients and they keep very well for several weeks.


I don't know what it is like where you live, but if you have car dealers or real estate agents, they would be a good place to generate business.


In Australia and the US, when an agent sells a home, they often will present the buyer with a gift of congratulations on their new purchase. The same with dealerships who sell customers a new car. It's a business write-off expense for them and it generates good will.


If you approach these types of companies in your area and offer them a selection of gift baskets to choose from that you can prepare "made-to-order" you may be able to build a pretty good business that way.


Be sure to estimate how much your expenses will be fore the entire package and then at least double the price. You may be able to charge a lot more than double. Just check around and see what gift baskets are going for in your area. You can offer them for just a little bit less to break into the market.


I hope that helps you with some ideas for getting started. Unfortunately I don't know where you could purchase a candy thermometer specifically in India. Don't they have them at your local department store or grocery store in the cooking sections?


If you have to order one internationally, you may as well purchase one from Candyland Crafts and just pay for the international shipping. They are pretty light weight, so it shouldn't cost too much I don't think. It's worth checking out.


Let me know how you get on with your new business.

Blessings,
Angie


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