When you look at Indian cacao, a lot of bean to bar chocolate makers have something new to offer, said Certified Chocolate Taster, Nitin Chordia.
Have you ever thought of experimenting with sugar? Or maybe with wheat? Well, it’s simply not possible due to the large scale operations and the desired need of infrastructure that comes with this industry. Bean to bar business is hence a very different and unique opportunity!
This business is by far the most exciting, interesting and absorbing business idea in India these days. It allows one to innovate with natural food ingredients unlike in any other food track! What makes this business exciting? Surprisingly, it is the low infrastructure investment that one requires to start a bean to bar operation, making this business a very interesting business!
Pretty Easy to Get Started
With noble ideas pouring in, one need not worry about the he physical location for setting up the business. Most bean to bar creators started this in their carport or home kitchen and have extemporized into a bigger office in the wake of getting their balance right. All you need is a cool area, space to keep a wet grinder, a roaster and a refrigerator. No large machinery or power lines are required.
Curious about chocolates, Earth Loaf’s David Belo loves to play with Indian ingredients like the Gondhoraj lemon or apricots from Ladakh to create new variants of his bean-to-bar chocolates. “But it wasn’t until we moved to India and discovered there was cacao growing here that we looked at making bean-to-bar chocolate,” says Belo.
He further adds,” We fell in love with the lifestyle here first and chocolates just came to us.”
The Chocolaty Journey
Bean to bar chocolates is perhaps the most exciting startup idea of this decade. Like every startup, the success lies in how well the business can reduce the complexity and cost of a product and its production. While the customer is willing to pay higher for theproduct, the Bean to bar business has proved to be self-sustaining and achieve positive cash flows quite easily and early on. Many such makers have started experimenting as their weekend hobby and with minimal budgets over a few years.
Auroville-based Jane and Fabien Mason, Owners, Mason & Co are making organic and vegan bean-to-bar dark chocolates in a variety of flavours from Zesty Orange to Peppermint & Sweet Nibs. Unable to find a single vegan eat in India, Jane Mason began researching on cacao in India and soon she was visiting farms to source beans and make chocolate at home “as a hobby”.
After many trials the Masons decided to raise the bar for chocolates in India by selling their hand-made from their home in Auroville in February 2014. The response was so huge that they quickly set up a factory and launched their Mason & Co bean-to-bar organic and vegan chocolates by July 2015.
“We make the best artisan & gourmet chocolate available in India. It is made with organic cacao beans grown by Indian farmers, it’s vegan and it’s superior quality. We take great pride in producing a conscious product that makes people happy”, added the French couple, Fabien & Jason, Owner, Jason & Co.
The Final Go!
Innovation also needs to be implemented in product development. Understanding what the cacao has to offer and adding natural ingredients to it and complimenting the natural flavours of cacao can be a challenging but a very rewarding effort! With very attractive ROI’s this could be the best startup idea of 2018!
“The bean-to-bar market in India may be small currently but it’s expected to show phenomenal growth,” says Chordia, who recently showcased the Mason, Earth Loaf and Pascati brands at the Chocoa Trade Fair in Amsterdam. “People were amazed to hear that the chocolates had been made in India,” says Chordia, who also distributes these brands in Tamil Nadu.