Assuming that you wish to purchase couverture for using to make confections (and not bars to sell) you will want to talk with either the importer or the local distributor.So - think of the brands you want to use, look them up on the web site, contact them and find out who the local distributor is. In many cases working with the local distributor is going to be easier for you. For example, you might get better prices by going direct to Guittard but they have a 500 lb minimum order. You might get your local distributor to match that price by giving them the business - they may qualify for larger discounts based on bigger order volume.The importer for Felchlin is Swiss Chalet Fine Foods (www.scff.com
) down in Miami. They have an 800# so give them a call and ask for the name of the rep who handles your area. Keep in mind that Felchlin makes more than just its Grand Cru line. There are other, less expensive, lines that you can consider.I know the name of the national sales manager for Guittard, but again you want a local rep. Go to the Guittard web site (www.guittard.com
) for the 800# and ask for the name of the rep in your area.There's been some success lately with TCHO's PRO line. They mostly sell direct but call them and ask.Another reason to consider going with an American-made chocolate is that you don't have to worry about fluctuations in the exchange rate. Right now the Pound and the Euro are down from their heights six months ago, but prices have really not fallen as companies are trying to retain their margins.Cluizel's US organization is at www.noble-ingredients.com
.Barry Callebaut is in Pensauken, NJ and the phone number can be found on this page
. B-C has not only the Callebaut line but Cacao Barry and Carma, and others.Qzina is a multi-line distributor - they carry Callebaut, Valrhona, and others. Th Qzina website is very badly designed and hard to navigate, so it may be best to give them a call. However, they do have a national footprint.I would recommend contacting Matt Caputo if you haven't already ... I always recommend giving business to ChocolateLife members wherever possible - plus we've been having some fascinating offline conversations and he's a great guy and I think you'd enjoy doing business with him.Finally, at this point, and with all due respect to Christopher Taylor, I don't think that making your own chocolate is where you should be thinking. It takes an entirely different skill set to make a couverture-quality chocolate (where consistent technical workability as well as flavor is important) from that required to make confections. Given some of the other questions you've been asking, my counsel would be to concentrate on what you're doing, make money, and decide later on if making your own chocolate is in your future. If it is - we'll be here to help. It will take no less time, money, and research to find a good chocolate distributor than it will to find sources of cocoa beans.
clay - http://www.thechocolatelife.com/clay/