Opening a chocolate shop


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Hello! I have decided to take my online business to a brick and mortar shop. I don't feel I can continue on the way I have been if I want to grow my business. I need space for production, I need product on shelves so my customers can stop by and grab a box of bonbons. They say "go big or go home". Yes. That.

So taking this big leap has me pondering questions like how do you actually layout a production/retail shop? I have found a great space, and we are in talks getting closer to signing a lease with the owner. It's a newly renovated space and we will be doing TI to make the space right for our shop. I have questions about equipment I need (not necessarily enrobing, etc., as I am trying to go without that expense to start), questions about the layout of the production area so it has an effective workflow. Along with the sink/cleaning area, I'll need production tables (melting chocolate, painting moulds, shelling/filling/capping) and I'll need a packaging area and office corner. I also plan to make candy items (caramel, nougat, sponge toffee, candied almonds) and have planned a built in oven and stovetop. Anything I'm not thinking about? The production area is approximately 600sq.ft.

For the retail area is approximately 400 sq.ft and is going to be pretty much take-out only. Along with bonbons and candy, I want to have a small coffee machine to make coffees (good cash flow $) and scones each morning for the office crowd in the area around my shop. So I plan to have a couple of small tables/chairs for those that grab a coffee on their break to sit for a few minutes. Right now, during covid, I don't want to encourage dine-in, but would love to have more tables/chairs once this whole thing blows over, because I have the space for it. Curious if there's anything I'm not thinking about for a retail area. Would appreciate any info you can give!

Check out my website www.aboxofbonbons.com and Instagram @aboxofbonbons so you get a feel for what I do. Thank you! If anyone wants to email me personally, I can share floorplans/elevation plans of what I've figured out so far. email is (e-mail address removed) :)
 
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I predict the business will be coffee and baked goods, the choc will be sideline afternoon sales.
Scones, muffins cookies are the breadwinners.
I would not design around the chocolate idea.
 
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50 years experience working in , owning and running pastry choc shops, bakeries.
I did sales velocity reports and it confirmed the obvious.
200 customers before 9 am daily, they were looking for coffee and something to eat on their way to work.
without those early morning sales we wouldn't make the daily nut.
After 20 yrs it was obvious the best money was in sandwiches ( anyone can make them) and pickup lunch items like small quiche or savory turnovers. It always comes down to the dollars and your ability to adapt on the fly.
 

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