In 2008, Cargill Cocoa & Chocolate North America (CCC-NA) launched a class called The Chocolatier’s Workshop™ as a way to build business and loyalty to their product brands. To date, there have been thirteen sessions held in Lititz, Pa. Over one hundred candy-makers have attended the workshops. The attendees have various backgrounds from teachers to lawyers and nurses to flight attendants, but they all have one thing in common – their love for chocolate and their desire to run a successful confectionery business.
The 3-day workshop is interactive and it focuses on opening and operating a confectionery business. In addition to two days of learning confectionery business fundamentals, participants spend one day in the lab where they learn how to temper chocolate and make confections. The hands-on day was so popular that CCC-NA extended their educational offering by launching a new workshop called Confectionery Essentials™.
Confectionery Essentials™, also held in Lititz, is a two-day hands-on class that delves into the theory and science of traditional candies such as firm and soft caramels and cooked and cold creams. The course also teaches participants how to blend a perfect ganache and enrobe confections. At the end of the day participants not only build a network of resources, they also go home with a few pounds of candy.
These workshops are unique in the industry because they go beyond the standard industry candy-making class and focus on the business elements by giving participants the tools necessary to develop their business plan. The Chocolatier’s Workshop™ and Confectionery Essentials™ have been effective tactics that help the BU capture new entrants and convert them into loyal customers. The feedback has been overwhelmingly positive. As past participant Les Kahrnoff from Alpharetta, Ga., shared: “The Chocolatier’s Workshop exceeded my expectations. You managed to cover so many topics, gave us all insight into so many areas of the business, and did so thoroughly, and with a continuous smile. Your time and professionalism was greatly appreciated. I think everyone who attended felt the same- everyone got something out of this.”
For more information on The Chocolatier’s Workshop™ and Confectionary Essentials™, please visit: http://www.cargillfoods.com