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My husband and I are opening a small chocolate shop in a restored downtown arcade in a medium city in the southern US. We will sell truffles, chocolate bars, french press coffee (no lattes, coffee drinks) and imported tea. Our focus is on the sensory experience of the foods we sell. The name of the shop is The Chocolate Lab, not because of the dog (although we LOVE dogs), but more because of the "experiment and experience" aspect of chocolates and unusual spices.

Our target market is the 35-60 year old "creative class" of the area. We have a rather large market within walking distance who are looking for a "genteel" urban experience.

In addition to the shop, we will offer chocolate, cheese and wine tastings, as well as wedding and corporate events.

The design of the shop is elegant, using mainly natural elements-reclaimed wood, granite, hammered metal and glass. Serene but not stuffy!

The building has a colorful history, our shop was once a 24 hour poker game and down the hall was a brothel! We'd like to bring some of the color back to downtown!

The shop will have accents of Indian spice colored fabrics (from India) and our packaging will be simple brown boxes with unique ribbons as a method to tie the box.

We are both involved in careers in the arts, love to travel and have a passion for foods and we want to bring some of this passion to our clients. We also want to give them a glimpse of the world through chocolate.

We don't want this to feel like a coffee shop! The focus should be on the chocolate.

We like abstract but not so abstract that our audience is clueless. I like a bit of whimsy but my husband prefers clean lines. His art favorite is Kandinsky (sp) and Picasso and I'm more of Monet person. But the art of India and Thailand are favorites of us both.

We don't want the logo to be too feminine...men should be comfortable carry a package with the logo on it!

Good luck and have fun!



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