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EFactor Presents: Savvy and Sweet: The Chocolate Business at a Glance

For the love of chocolate! More than 36 million heart-shaped boxes are sold on Valentine’s Day! Most buy from the big name chocolate companies, but where is the love for the small business chocolatiers?

Join us for an exclusive tasting as you hear from EFactor's favorite chocolatier Joan Coukos and chocolate expert Clay Gordon on what you’re missing out when buying from the masses. And just in time to impress that special someone, you’ll be walking away with some chocolate swag!

After attending, you’ll have insights on: 
● Chocolate entrepreneur industry 
● Pros and cons of the industry 
● How to compete against the big guys

Joan Coukos, Chocolatier & CEO of CHOCOLAT MODERNE, is a Native New Yorker. She graduated magna cum laude from Duke University with a degree in French and Russian, and received an MBA from UNC Chapel Hill before entering the New York banking scene. Her extensive career included six years in Moscow during the rough and tumble days of Russia’s transition to a market economy, after which she returned to New York and Wall Street in 1999.
Open to new inspiration and challenge, in December 2000, after a trip to Brussels, she began creating recipes back in her tiny Manhattan kitchen. Her co-workers became the first enthusiastic guinea pigs, and upon receiving repeated accolades, she began taking formal steps to becoming a chocolatier.
Joan has studied chocolate and confectionery arts with a coterie of world-class French, Belgian, American and Swiss chocolatiers in NY and at The World Pastry Forum in Las Vegas. She is also a member of the New York Women’s Culinary Alliance. Now, after five years of honing her craft, Joan is creating sumptuous assortments of luxury gift boxed chocolates in her own chocolate laboratory on West 20th Street.
Clay Gordon is an internationally recognized independent authority on chocolate. A graduate of Rhode Island School of Design and named co-inventor on four patents, Clay Gordon is a veteran of high-tech startups in computer graphics, interactive multimedia, information management, and the Internet -- as well as in the world of chocolate.
Since 2001, Clay has combined his passion for chocolate, his understanding of digital technologies, his experience with cacao and chocolate from the farm to consumers’ mouths, and his abilities as a writer and storyteller to educate people around the world about cacao, chocolate, and pairing. 
Clay is most active as a consultant working with chocolate makers and confectioners to help start and grow their chocolate business, and consulting in the areas of product development, marketing and market positioning, equipment and ingredient sourcing, facilities design, distribution, and related business challenges.
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Note on Pricing:
$25 on website
$30 at the door

Great giftbag with signature chocolates included.


Hitting the Spot with an Insider’s Look at the Chocolate Business in NYC
Valentine’s Day 2013 has come and gone, and we hope you all were wined, dined and romanced to your hearts’ content! Did you know that each Valentine’s Day, more than 36 million heart-shaped boxes of chocolate are sold? As long as there are celebrations, holidays and break-ups, the chocolate business is one whose popularity will never wane, and EFactor took to NYC last week to show the business side of this sweet industry. The event, Savvy & Sweet: The Chocolate Business at a Glance, presented chocolatier Joan Coukos and chocolate expert Clay Gordon, who shared insights on chocolate industry entrepreneurship, pros and cons of the business and how small operations can compete against chocolate giants.
Joan Coukos is the CEO and chocolatier at Chocolat Moderne. She studied business and, after receiving her MBA and working for years in the competitive NYC banking scene, Coukos, inspired by the film Chocolat, began experimenting with chocolate-making, and decided to pursue her new passion formally. She studied under world-class chocolatiers, became a member of the New York Women’s Culinary Alliance, and now has her very own storefront and chocolate laboratory on West 20th Street in NYC.
Coukos, who shared with event attendees that she only makes moulded bonbons, is known for her unique and unexpected flavors. She makes her chocolate with crushed tomatoes.
Clay Gordon, the event’s other speaker, is a world-renown chocolate authority, as well as a veteran of the startup tech industry. He combines his passion for confections, knowledge of the chocolate trade, understanding of digital technologies and abilities as a writer and storyteller to educate people around the world about cacao, chocolate and more. He also acts as a consultant for those interested in starting chocolate businesses of their own.
At the event, Gordon shared that he originally wanted to be the world’s first chocolate critic, for which he studied for seven years the chocolate-oriented lives of 7,000 in over 40 countries. This led to his own radio show and a reputation as a trusted consultant for startups. Newness, he told attendees, is the trend in the food business -- it’s important that business owners create something that has lasting power to become a classic, but that no one has ever tasted before. Salted caramel, said Gordon, is a perfect example of this kind of ingenuity and is very trendy now as a result. Flavor is something that simply cannot be taught, Gordon told attendees. 
All this sweet insight into such a mysterious industry certainly left our EFactor attendees with a sugar rush to go take a bite out of the world of entrepreneurship themselves! Thanks again to our seasoned speakers, and to our host, Chocolat Moderne. Got a hankering for more brilliant events like this one? Join EFactor today and scope out upcoming EFactor events in your area!



Start Time: 6:30pm

End Time: 8:30pm

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