Has anyone used "chocolate factory in a box"
Posted in: Tech Help, Tips, Tricks, & Techniques
Clay, that was good advice and I decided against the chocolate world factory in a box concept. Before I made any decision, I went and got some very good chocolate training (they had competed in the World Chocolate Masters) - it was this that gave me an understanding of the direction I wanted to go, and the equipment I would need. The factory in a box option, as you pointed out, was expensive and didn't have everything I would need, and some things it turns out I don't need.
Nearly 5 months after my initial post above, and the decision has been made. I took a 300sqm warehouse and converted it into offices, retail outlet/cafe store, and a large factory.
I have decided against a tempering machine, instead investing in 1 x 15kg and 2 x 12kg melting tanks. I enjoy hand tempering/crystallizing the chocolate, so a tempering machine was ditched from the shopping list.
My new factory/production facility is geared toward artisan chocolate, and should be operational in about 8 more days all going to plan. Ended up spending WAY to much, but have gone with:
* 2 x custom built stainless benches with granite bench tops (and tray racks underneath)
* A custom built spray booth for both artisan chocolate and sculptures (plus a gravity air gun + compressor)
* Heated cabinet for cocoa butter/color
* A commercial oven so I can roast my own nuts etc and make my own praline (copper bowl method) - and I will be doing Macarons too, based on some very good advice I received
* A guitar cutter (Matfer) - decided this was a necessity in the end
* Over 200 poly carbonite molds (20 - 30 of each style)
* A massive air conditioning unit that can keep the factory at 18 degrees C and 50% Relative humidity.
And on top of this is all the shelving, stainless packing benches, miscellaneous tools (spatulas, spoons, bowls, pots, etc), refrigeration (who knew commercial refrigeration cabinets were so expensive!), pantries, etc.
Many of the comments on the forums here made the point that it isn't about the equipment, it is about knowing how to use the equipment (eg, the equipment does not make a chocolatier, and having a Selmi won't be any use to you if you don't understand the pre-crystallization of chocolate). This is so true! When I need to scale up some more, I may get a Selmi, but until then, I will be more than content using my melting tanks.