I'm doing a project on Chocolate for Culinary School. I've been assigned Storage and Costs. I have no trouble finding information about the former but the latter is givng me a bit of a roadblock.
Could you please recommend some good resources/websites where I can find out about the cost for low- mid- and high end chocolate for consumers? Information about the cost of chcolate for industries (manufacturers, confection/ candy/ ice cream shops, hospitality i.e. restaurants/hotels) is also appreciated.
Thank you in advance!
Hi there. I just finished my Food Science degree after being a pastry chef for many years. There is no website with comparable wholesale prices like you mention, this would be suicide for suppliers. They keep this information secret so that they can negotiate the costs with each buyer. I would suggeest (this is what I did) fibbing to the supplier, saying that you're investigating some 'Preliminary" costs for your restaurant/bakery. They are going to ask you for volumes. Make up something that sounds believable for the size of the restaurant/bakery/catering facility whatever. This was a huge source of frustration for me as professors/instructors tell you to "go gather some costs to compare" and businesses just don't have the patience to mess around with students. Wholesale specialty ingredient companies are struggling HARD in these times to make ends meet and their resources are sparse. I guess it's an intro to the world of "making it happen" despite difficulties. So go ahead, lie! Just make sure you're prepared for the conversation and have done your homework so you don't frustrate them. All costs are dependent on volumes. If you have the space to store a lot, you can get a break on the cost. With chocolate, you can save money on bulk bricks (usually 11# bricks) but those are time-consuming to chop up and eat up your labor. Pistoles are much more expensive, but really fast to use. Keep that in mind. Maybe time yourself to chop up an 11# brick. And understand that this task will probably be given to the most unskilled person in the kitchen and it can get dangerous, get out the bandaids.
European Imports in Chicago is a good company that carries a lot of different chocolate and pastry products, you might try them for costs. Hope this helps!
If you know who the local suppliers are, call and ask for a catalogue and price list (prices are often kept separately, as they are subject to change). If you know any other working pastry chefs, call them as well. Websites will give you one side of the retail market, there are at least a few with a good variety of chocolates.