The Business Turns Four: Stumbling Blocks and New Horizons

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Top This Chocolate’s store in Ventura Harbor marks another milestone and it’s time to reflect on the status of the business. I am excited to announce that I can now legally sell franchises in California and 28 other states! My franchise marketing website is almost finished. However, I’ve hit a stumbling block on the way to bringing freedom in chocolate to new towns. If an aspiring entrepreneur is going to buy a Top This Chocolate store, they’re going to want to know how much money it has the potential to make. The numbers of the current store have been going down ever since the year that the pandemic brought a large volume of foot traffic to Ventura harbor. So, while I’ve proved that the business will do well when there is foot traffic, the business is not currently doing well enough to be competitive with similar food franchises. Many might understand the situation and still believe in the business, especially those walking in the door who see what a great concept it is to sell customizable chocolate bars and how happy it makes customers. If they are also familiar with Ventura Harbor Village and its decline, it is likely they would still buy into owning their own Top This Chocolate in a better location. However, it is difficult to explain those circumstances to potential prospects. So, before real growth can happen, Top This Chocolate needs to find a great location. The future of chocolate is looking for its future flagship. This does not mean the store in Ventura Harbor will close. That store is doing fine most months and enjoying serving the community. We love and appreciate those who make a trip to get chocolate or stop in when they are in the harbor. The store will always be where Top This Chocolate got its bricks and mortar beginning and proved it was providing a service that customers wanted. It should stay and be unique as the original. However my search for a true flagship, where Top This Chocolate can live up to its full potential and from which I envision training future Chocopreneurs, begins.

It was a tough year with pressure on many people’s budgets from inflation and that made it a tough year for retail businesses. I had huge jumps in the cost of high quality chocolate and other ingredients but did not raise prices on most items this year. Also in Southern California it rained for the first five months of the year and that kept tourists and locals alike inside. Many small businesses have closed this year and I’m grateful not to be among them. I am still focused on growth but with a longer timeline.

While traveling I’ve been tasting chocolates from other chocolatiers and I’m always surprised at how much better quality my chocolate is. Of course I hear it every day from customers. It’s still nice to be reminded that what I’m doing really is unique and provides value that people can't get just anywhere. I’m really on to something. It may be a slow journey but I’m still obsessed. Obsession is what it takes. Otherwise starting again after four years would be overwhelming instead of exciting.

If you or someone you know would like to own their own Top This Chocolate, call or email today at (805) 666-2016 or



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