ChocoLazer Chocolate Melting Gun
ChocoLazer Chocolate Melting Gun
The Chocolazer looks and works like a hot glue gun, but lets you melt, write and design in chocolate. Simple, easy and NO CLEAN-UP!
The Chocolazer looks and works like a hot glue gun, but lets you melt, write and design in chocolate. Simple, easy and NO CLEAN-UP! Read more
About this project
The Chocolazer will enable more people to be more creative with chocolate than ever before. By removing the problems and hassles of conventional chocolate melting, the Chocolazer inspires the confectionary artist in everyone. We envision a future where fresh chocolate covered fruits, chocolate drizzled cookes and decorated pastries are as simple and easy to create as spreading butter on toast. However, in order to achieve this chocolate utopian future, we need your help.
One would think that the similarity between the Chocolazer and a hot melt glue gun would have made creating the Chocolazer simple and straightforward. But, in fact, the challenges were formidable. Creating an instant chocolate melting system required the use of food-safe, heat-tolerant materials. It required a precision heating element, capable of self-regulating its temperature to avoid burning or "cooking" the chocolate. And it required a more delicate advancing mechanism, in order to avoid breaking the chocolate sticks. That's why the story of breathing life into the Chocolazer spans two countries (Canada and the USA) and over 7 years.
We are now in a solid position to bring the chocolazer to life. We have solved all of the technical problems, and our design is ready for the next steps:
1) Plastic Injection Mold Design - Although we have created more than 20 prototypes, each with 3D CAD designed parts, many were 3D printed and not directly translatable to large volume plastic injection molding production. So we will have to undertake some additional CAD work to generate plastic injection manufacturable parts.
2) Pricing - We envision a retail price of $24.95 with chocolate refills at about $4.50 per dozen. This makes the Chocolazer and refills accessible to anyone.
2) Distribution - We already have had interest from parties in the television marketing channel. However we expect to secure orders from Food, Drug Store and Mass Market (FDM) retailers. This can only happen when we have a firm handle on our supply chain, manufacturing methods and fulfillment processes.
3) Branding - We plan to invest heavily in Public Relations and Branding. First to market is a position we will exploit fully. However we feel the ChocoLazer name can represent the pinnacle of quality in chocolate confectionery crafts.
Ultimately, the unique characteristics of an inexpensive retail price, a problem solving design, exciting and fun implemenation and NO CLEANUP, will allow the ChocoLazer to change the Chocolate Confectionery World. We appreciate your consideration.
The Chocolazer is the result of painstaking collaboration undertaken by patent owner, Monica D’Agostino and product developer, Rafael Avila. The idea behind the Chocolazer evolved from their distinct life experiences and points of view. Monica is an independent sales representative\designer from Ontario, Canada, whose expertise and creativity extend beyond the world of interior design and into the eclectic domain of culinary and confectionery arts. For Monica the idea of having a kitchen tool that worked like a glue gun, but could melt and apply chocolate represented an ease of use that would facilitate the creation of untold gourmet and confectionery delights. For a private individual without extensive corporate resources, the expense and means necessary to apply for a patent can be quite prohibitive. Nevertheless, the brilliance of the device would have countless people asking, “Why didn’t I think of that?” Clearly such a product would need to be patent-protected. After countless painstaking hours and thousands of dollars Monica’s patent was awarded with recognition in both the U.S. and Canada.
Veteran product developer, Rafael Avila came to the idea from an entirely different perspective. At the New York restaurant that he owned, his signature chocolate-drizzled desserts drew many customers, but vexed his cooks. Unfortunately, they burned or wasted much more chocolate than the dessert recipes required. With a locked temperature range, a glue-gun-like chocolate melting tool would make it impossible for his staff to burn the chocolate. They would be able to perfectly melt only the chocolate needed, with zero waste. Unfortunately Rafael would not be able to create the envisioned device until after he sold the restaurant. Oblivious to the fact that Monica had been awarded a patent, Rafael created working prototypes, which he sent to various mass marketers and retailers, as well as an invention contest. Interestingly, the Chocolazer received strong interest from a mass marketer (QVC) and the people running the invention contest. However, as part of the due diligence required for the invention contest, a more extensive patent search was performed. Rafael’s heart sank when he discovered that someone else had already been awarded Canadian and USA patents for the same invention. Crestfallen, he gave a half-hearted effort to contact Ms. D’Agostino, in order to discuss a partnership or collaboration. Not surprisingly, he failed to reach her.
Years later, in 2013, Rafael held a meeting at his local public library to drum up interest in creating a maker space for his community. The Chocolazer story thus far, offered a good example of how two different and unconnected people, can have the same idea. Several attendees pointed out that with the explosion in social media in the intervening years, it should be easy to reach Monica D’Agostino. They were absolutely right. Monica and Rafael have been collaborating together on the Chocolazer project ever since.
After about 22 prototypes and many more sub-variations of each prototype, we developed a version that worked. We have secured quotations for additional design work, tooling costs, and production of the Chocolazer, as well as for the production of the melting chocolate sticks. Hopefully our fans at Kickstarter and in our social networks will help us raise the capital needed to mass produce Chocolazers for retail sale around the world.
Risks and challenges
Rafael’s experience is primarily in the nutrition and dietary supplements market. Nevertheless, he is a renowned product developer with 20 years of experience and hundreds of products to his credit. His products have generated millions and have won awards worldwide. The similarities between developing nutritional products and bringing the ChocoLazer from concept to market are many. And this plays in our favor.
As the manager of teams of product development professionals, dealing with lead times, shipping costs, supply chain challenges, quality assurance testing, regulatory compatibility, safety, funding, product liability insurance, licensing agreements, raw material price increases, customs delays, international regulatory issues, stocking fees and countless production variables is second nature to Rafael. Over the years, Mr. Avila has also cultivated relationships with decision makers at some of the world’s largest retail outfits. Clearly, challenges can and will arise. But in this domain, there is no challenge that Rafael has not dealt with over his extensive career. Monica D’Agostino, whose career started in the food industry as Flavourist, adds incalculable skills, experience and capacity to the Chocolazer team. With start of Monica’s family and an economy that hit US and Canadian companies especially hard, she reeducated herself for what would become a stellar career in interior design. Monica's design and culinary experience, together with Rafel's product development expertise, as well as his industry relationships, diminishes the likelihood of encountering a game stopping challenge to zero.
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