VIDEO SUMMARY: Orinoco Chocolate Company co-founders, Christian Tyler and Jessica Ellis discuss the process and decisions that went into building their craft chocolate factory in Prescott, Arizona. They advise viewers to plan for growth and consider electrical needs and a functioning HVAC system. They also emphasize the importance of budgeting for independent inspectors and appraisals before buying or building a factory. Jessica and Christian also discuss the necessity of food safety audits and the advantages of being conscious of allergens. Additionally, they stress the significance of developing strong relationships with suppliers and equipment engineers to solve problems and save costs. They encourage chocolate makers to research alternative options and utilize industry resources. Finally, the speakers emphasize the importance of diversifying products and developing relationships with customers to inform product development and marketing strategies.
Before a single bean can be roasted. Before a single bean can be cracked, winnowed, and then refined. Even before a bag can be opened and a single bean can be sorted and cleaned, there are a-thousand-and-one decisions that go into how a craft chocolate production facility – irrespective of whether you call it a workshop or a factory – is organized and outfitted.
From the floors to the walls and ceilings, plumbing, electrical, HVAC, access, storage – and more – seemingly simple decisions can have profound consequences on overall production efficiency and your ability to meet local building codes, health and safety inspections, and your ability to achieve GMP and other certifications.
In this episode, I will be joined by the co-founders of Cacao Consulting, Jessica Ellis and Christian Tyler, in a frank discussion of their experiences and insights on the process gained from helping their clients, as well as from their recent (and ongoing) experiences building out their own production capabilities.
If you can join us live, we will, of course, be taking your questions in the comments. (We won’t be in a position to troubleshoot specific production or equipment issues.)