rci 2022


Slots are filling up fast for the Chocolate Boot Camp to be held from 8 to 11 August 2022 at Fascia’s Chocolates In Waterbury, Connecticut. The summer course will be hosted by Retail Confectioners International (RCI).

RCI members and non-members are both welcome to enrol in the four-day course, where they can learn practical techniques that may be applied to their respective businesses. The program is also open to experts and neophytes in the confectionery industry.

RCI has a long history as a valuable resource for small business owners, both established and new to the industry. The successes of past Chocolate Boot Camp courses are an indication of the quality of materials and content that will be provided during the course. The hands-on approach, combined with the knowledge and experience our instructors have to offer, will give chocolate makers the tools they need to be successful in their businesses.

Angie Burlison, Executive Director, RCI.

Attendees can expect to achieve the following learning objectives throughout the summer bootcamp:

  • tempering
  • preventing bloom
  • applying and using chocolate and compounds
  • selecting chocolate for different applications
  • depositing and enrobing techniques
  • managing mistakes
  • making meltaways, bark, truffles and ganache
  • critical sensory evaluation
  • good manufacturing practices
  • sanitation
  • basic traceability systems

The course instructors include renowned chocolate specialists and managers in the industry, such as Randy Hofberger, Consultant at R&D Candy Consultants, LLC; Jim Bourne, President of Hilliard’s Chocolate System; Brian Donaghy, Corporate Chocolatier and Innovation Center Director at Tomric Systems, Inc., Denise Lansing, Senior Sales Account Manager at Clasen Quality Chocolate, Joe Sofia, Chocolate Specialist at Cargill Cocoa & Chocolate, and Marlene Stauffer, Director of Regulatory Compliance at Blommer Chocolate Company.

Alongside the opening of the registration, RCI also introduces this year’s Dennis R. Witzel Chocolate Boot Camp Scholar, Lindsey Greer of Dietsch Brothers in Findlay, Ohio. The second recipient of the scholarship, Greer is entitled to take the US$1,250-course in August for free.

Out of his passion for chocolate and desire to share his knowledge, Dennis Witzel established the Chocolate Boot Camp Scholarship for RCI members before his death in 2020. He worked in the chocolate industry for 47 years as a salesman and coordinated and instructed various chocolate-related educational initiatives, including RCI’s Chocolate Boot Camp. 

“The confidence, knowledge, understanding and friendships I made in just a few short days are absolutely worth taking this course.” Alison Mortensen of Char-val Candies, the first recipient of Dennis R. Witzel Chocolate Boot Camp Scholarship in February 2022. According to Mortensen, the boot camp starts with learning in class in the morning and making chocolates in labs in the afternoon.

More details about the scholarship can be found on retailconfectioners.org/CBCscholarship. 

The Chocolate Boot Camp will have a maximum class size of 26 students. Visit retailconfectioners.org/bootcamp to reserve a slot.

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