Side Hustle Pro

Ep 119: What It's Like To Launch A Chocolate Factory in Harlem w/Jessica Spaulding

November 21, 2018
80 min

Today in the guest chair, we have Jessica Spaulding, Founder of Harlem Chocolate Factory.

Jessica grew up in a home where sugar was not on the menu in no shape or form. But putting her entrepreneurial skills to the test early on, she struck a deal with her mother: if she could make her own candy, then she would also be allowed to eat it. As a Food Network enthusiast she learned to make all types of chocolate at just 10 years old, a passion that would inspire her to eventually launch Harlem Chocolate Factory.

At Harlem Chocolate Factory, Jessica produces bars and brownies inspired by the rich ethnic heritage of her native Harlem community. Jessica emphasizes quality, handcrafting her products and responsibly sourcing her chocolate.

Now, outsiders discouraged Jessica from starting her own business, saying that there was no money to be made. She was determined, however, and in college decided to take a shot at starting a chocolate company. While she was not successful at first, it encouraged her to take time to learn core business skills, a step that has paid off in the long run. On today’s episode, you’ll learn:

  • How Jessica bounced back from business failure and created success from the ashes
  • The resources and competitions she participated in to buy supplies and make samples
  • How she connected with a mentor that helped her prepare for competitions and think through elements of her business
  • How she found partners that gave her the financial stability to build her dream and take her business to the next level
  • And how she is continuing to develop her business as a young entrepreneur working through challenges and missteps

Listen on Apple Podcasts, Soundcloud, Stitcher

This episode is brought to you by:

Mented Cosmetics. Side Hustle Pro listeners get 15% off of all their Mented purchases! Head over to or use code SideHustle at checkout.

Skillshare is offering Side Hustle Pro listeners a limited time offer of 2 months of Skillshare for just 99 cents. To sign up, go to

Links mentioned on this episode


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