- Wisconsin placed 47th in the number of new companies formed per 1,000 workers in the state
- Venture Capital is a problem here
- Wisconsin’s Brain Drain – new grads often leave the Badger State.
Yet, Wisconsin continues to try government driven, top down programs, such as the Wisconsin Angel Network, among others.
Candinas Chocolatier is the type of business we should seek to emulate. Markus started the company in 1994, after completing an apprenticeship in Switzerland. Today, over 10 years later, he is still in business and clearly enjoys what he’s doing. The attention to detail illustrated in the product photos above demonstrates the devotion required to succeed. Let’s call it passion. Another interesting local firm, Planet Propaganda created his packaging.
Candinas’ products are certainly not inexpensive, nor are they run of the mill. Rather, Markus has taken a quality position in the market and continued to improve his chocolates. This is a very long term approach to business. I need say no more on this subject as Consumer Reports discovered:
?The best chocolates came from lesser-known makers,? the magazine pronounced in its February issue. ?Lesser-known? as in Candinas Chocolates, of Verona, Wisconsin (www.candinas.com). Candinas was one of only three chocolate makers nationwide to achieve the rating of ?excellent,? ranking behind Martine?s Chocolates and La Maison du Chocolat in that category.
The winning assortment was the Candinas 36-piece box (price: $41). ?Ultra-smooth dark and milk chocolates with especially good hazelnut, caramel, and liqueur-flavored centers,? praises the magazine, accentuating the ?fresh cream and butter notes.?
Fine chocolates from Wisconsin may boggle the mind, but consider: chocolatier Markus Candinas, 32, has Swiss parents and trained as a confectioner in their homeland.
Great chocolate makes perfect sense – we have fantastic dairy products. Perhaps we’d be better off further leveraging our dairy business (designer milks and more cheese varieties?).
Entrepreneurs are born, not trained. We simply, as Romell’s article notes, need to find more people willing to give it a try.
A useful book, sort of related is Mintzburg’s Managers Not MBA’s.