Tache Chocolate – New York

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In today’s podcast, we meet Aditi Malhotra, co-owner and founder of Tache Chocolate, an artisan chocolate-maker in New York. Aditi selected the name ‘Tache’ a French word which means a smudge or mark “because every time I’m wearing my chef’s coat I usually have left a smudge of chocolate on either the coat or  somewhere on me”. Appropriately, Tache Chocolatier, has left its mark on the NY luxury chocolate market within a short space of time.

Originally opening Tache Choclate in March of 2012 Aditi has been featured in The New York Times, Time Out and The Huffington Post among others. In the same year Aditi was chosen to be the chocolate caterer for ‘The New York City Ballet Fall Gala’ honouring Valentino and has since featured in many events on the NY social scene.

Some excerpts from today’s podcast:

Do you think that people listening to this program have to go to a catering or a hospitality college in order to start their own food or beverage business?

Aditi: I don’t think that you need to get formally trained in hospitality to own a food and beverage business. Of course it certainly helps. There are certain things that you can pick up. I do believe that you have to at least work at a restaurant or a hotel [in order]to open up a food and beverage business or, you know, trial work somewhere for a little bit and really learn every single aspect within the industry, everything from washing dishes to learning a POS system in the front of the house, the opening procedures of a restaurant, closing procedures of a restaurant or a kitchen.

If someone wants to just start experimenting with chocolate and maybe play around with the kinds of things that appeal to them or their friends, is that something, which you can readily do without having to go to some kind of formal training?

Aditi: I think you can always have fun experimenting with food and with chocolate, but if you’re going to make a career out of this, I do think that you would need some type of formal training. There are a lot of procedures and basics of cooking, which you can’t really just pick up as you go. That is something that you’re really going to need to learn. You really want to do it right.

Let’s just talk a little bit about your success. In 2012 you were the chocolate caterer for ‘The New York City Ballet Fall Gala’ honouring [the fashion designer]Valentino. How did you pull off something like that? How did you actually get that gig?

Aditi: Both the ballet company and Valentino contacted us, less than a week before the show. We had to make about 8,000 pieces of chocolates. We got this order while there were already so many things going on at the shop. We pulled it off, and it’s probably one of the best experience I’ve ever had because we learned how to work really fast and really efficiently in a short, short, short period of time.

 Now listen to the rest of this episode, where you will learn:

  • How Aditi came to work in the artisan luxury food space
  • How she settled on the ideal location for Tache Chocolate in NY city
  • Which brand of professional equipment she uses and how she knew what to buy
  • What market research Aditi conducts in order to know what will sell
  • What it’s like to work with a silent partner or external investor
  • Which streams of income Aditi generates in addition to those selling chocolates
  • How Aditi plans to grow her business in the near future
  • How important social media and marketing are to Tache Chocolatier
  • Which advice Aditi wants to give you as you plan to emulate her success

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Thanks to our guest… and thanks to you!

A very special thanks to today’s guest, Aditi Malhotra of Tache Chocolatier for sharing her tips and advice from her journey so far.   Thanks especially to you for listening to today’s podcast here on makemoneywithfood.com, home of the food entrepreneur!

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About Author

Mark Hayes - Editor

Graduating after 4 years at Shannon College of Hotel Management in Ireland, Mark worked in hospitality and restaurant management roles for ClubMed, Disney (in both Florida and Paris, France), Sheraton Hotels (Frankfurt, Germany) as well as management positions in restaurant chains in the UK. Mark completed an MBA in 2010 with a master's thesis focused on food franchise operations. Through interviewing food business owners, franchise-holders and food-vendors, Mark found that he really enjoyed finding out exactly what compels people to start food businesses and what it is they do to make them profitable and rewarding. In recent years, Mark has also run a successful farmer's market business with his parents, both of whom are passionate 'foodies'. From sourcing ingredients to making food by hand, packaging it, pricing it and selling it in a competitive marketplace, Mark wants to help you to make your food startup a success.