Hi there, I live in Australia and am in the planning phase of starting my own chocolate making business, How do you go about sourcing cocoa beans to purchase in bulk? Do you have to deal with suppliers or farmers direct? Does anyone have any contacts ? Also how do you secure a regular supply??
I'm by no means an expert in this area, but I'll offer my opinion and others can jump in with their experiences or if they think I'm wrong.
I'd hazard a guess that it'll be tough to establish a direct relationship with a grower if you're only ordering 50-100kg. Often they deal in container loads.
So that means you'll probably need some sort of middleman/broker. Your amounts are larger than "retail" ordering on this website, so you should qualify for the "Wholesale Store" bean ordering from Chocolate Alchemy (there is a menu link just under the title banner on this page). There are also other brokers/middlemen out there - it just depends what beans they stock versus what you want.
Unfortunately delivery to Australia is expensive - you'll need to factor that into the cost of beans. There are a number of other bean to bar producers in Australia . . . I don't know if it would be possible to purchase in tandem with one or more of them? (Delivery costs/kg of beans tend to be less the more you order).
Hmm ok so what your saying is perhaps in the interim to begin with I should order beans from this site and then as demand grows and then when I require container loads I should then deal with growers, I know delivery is expensive here unfortunately, I only know of 4 bean to bar producers in Australia and only 1 of them is in the same state as me, I don't picture them getting friendly with their competition lol they are all so secretive here it's like pulling out teeth
Hey ejahjah, we're also in Australia (WA), where are you? You can order small quantities from Maretai in Brisbane for a start. There are also some growers up in NQ that might sell you some small quantities.
Hey mark I'm in Sydney Haven't heard of maretai are they chocolate makers ? Or suppliers of cocoa beans? I've heard of Daintree estates but didn't even think to ask to buy off them, I think I will Thanks Elsie
I don't think Maretai make chocolate, but they sell beans and also cocoa butter. Daintree Estates don't sell any beans, but there are some other growers up there that might sell to you. We had some early discussions but we bring in our beans from Panama. We can sell you some of those beans if you like, just PM me your email address or phone number if you're interested.
Hi Elsie I'm currently in Sydney (though looking to move) and also looking at a small bean to bar operation. I've had the same issues with cost of beans and getting equipment here. Plus most equipment has different plugs and voltages so it isn't as easy as being in the US where there are off the shelf solutions. I've also tried contacting some of the other B2B makers and I haven't gotten great responses yet but I'm hoping in time that will change and there will be enough of us doing a great job that we can support each other rather than be afraid of competition. Daintree estates were not at all interested in selling beans but there is another plantation who does a plantation to bar called Charley's and they may be helpful.
That all sounds very negative, but there is a Chocolate Factory in Victoria called Bright Chocolate and they are doing great single origin chocolate out of a regional area so it must be possible. There is a recent website called Yellow Seed and they are trying to become a website that puts small makers in touch with plantation owners and other brokers. I have not yet made my first bar of chocolate, but if you want to keep in touch and share info I'm happy to.
Thanks to Mark for the Maretai tip. I'll follow that up too.
Hi, I import Dominican Cocoa Beans . I can ship anywhere. I have access to small or large amounts. All of our beans are hand selected as we visit each farmer we buy from . Let me know if you are interested. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org