What is Vicuña Chocolate Factory and Cafe?
Located in Peterborough, New Hampshire, Vicuña Chocolate ethically sources the finest heirloom cocoa beans from Central and South America to handcraft chocolate bars. Once the cocoa beans arrive at Vicuña, all of the chocolate making happens onsite in the factory. Vicuña roasts, cracks, winnows, stone grinds, tempers, molds, and packages the chocolate for customers near and far. At the cafe, patrons will enjoy hot chocolate, coffee, cocoa husk tea, pastries, and -- of course -- the signature chocolate bars. Guests can learn more about the chocolate making process by visiting the in-house “chocolate museum” and by watching the factory at work.
How did it all begin?
Founder Neely Cohen has worked as a pastry chef, chocolatier, and bean-to-bar chocolate maker in the United States, South America, Europe, and the Middle East. She has harvested and roasted cacao in the Amazon jungle and taught thousands how to make chocolate from scratch. Neely is delighted to bring her passion, experience, and expertise to her hometown of Peterborough, New Hampshire.
What makes Vicuña different?
By using the highest quality ingredients and handcrafting each bar, Vicuña’s aim is to make the best chocolate you’ve ever tasted. Most chocolate-making in the United States starts with melting couverture chocolate. At Vicuña, the process begins with roasting the cocoa beans...and you can taste the difference!
The cafe at Vicuña is a gathering place. Special events and factory tours offer Vicuña patrons an opportunity to learn more about chocolate making and chocolate tasting!
Beyond the local community, Vicuña chocolate will be available for online sales. The chocolate will also wholesale to shops and restaurants all over the country.
Why does Vicuña need funds?
With the help of Kickstarter backers, Vicuna will be able to:
- Develop online sales. Vicuna wishes to share this chocolate beyond New England. Shipping chocolate (sensitive to heat and breakage) is complicated and can be expensive.
- Send designer packaging to the presses. At Vicuña, we want our signature chocolate bars to look as good as they taste. Package design is important for successful sales of chocolate bars both at the Vicuna Factory and at other retail establishments.
- Hire staff. Vicuña wants to be open all day long! While Neely makes the chocolate in the factory, barista staff will serve guests pastries and beverages.
- Wholesale to shops and restaurants across the U.S. and launch marketing campaign. Vicuña’s goal is to sell chocolate bars all over the country and to provide chocolate for dessert-making in restaurants and bakeries near and far. Outreach -- travel, shipping, marketing personnel, advertising -- is a necessary ingredient of business.
How can you help?
Vicuña thanks the friends, family, community members, farmers, and distributors for providing support to make this possible. Please join this chocolate loving community by pledging funds to Vicuña. Most importantly, please share this project with your own community and on social media. Like Vicuña on Facebook, follow on Twitter, and visit our website to receive updates about the business, information about events, and new blog posts. I’m so proud of Vicuña Chocolate Factory & Cafe, and I can’t wait to share it with you.
Risks and challenges
Starting a new business is full of opportunity, excitement, and challenges. I’ve faced the challenges of a gut renovation (I turned a hair salon into a chocolate factory!), finding the best cocoa bean source, finding affordable and high quality equipment, and crafting a homemade winnower with experienced engineers. I’m delighted to say I’ve overcome these obstacles with the support of my community. I’m looking forward to the next step of the journey: opening Vicuña to the public! With the support of chocolate lovers near and far, I’m excited to make this dream a reality.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (28 days)