Moving Chocolate to Siskiyou Boulevard
Deena Branson, owner of Branson Chocolates in Ashland, had worked at Ashland Fudge for 10 years when the shop closed in 2005.
Wanting to save the fudge shop’s legacy, she purchased the recipes and equipment and opened her own chocolate shop only months later.
Now, Deena makes nearly 100 items, including truffles, fudge, turtles, toffee, clusters, caramel sticks, chocolate bars and more. She specializes in custom labeled chocolates, meaning she sells her chocolate bars to businesses and they put their logos on the front.
For the first several years of Branson’s Chocolates, the business operated out of an industrial complex and didn’t have retail space. Deena went to the SBDC in 2011 for help moving into retail. At first, the SBDC helped her write a business plan that focused on wholesale. After finding retail space for the business on Siskiyou Boulevard in 2013, the SBDC helped Deena rewrite her business plan.
“The SBDC actually helped me figure out how to write a business plan,” Deena said. “They’ve helped me understand what it takes and how to project realistic numbers, which I never knew how to do before.”