For our 11th episode of Wider Worldview on Fireside, Color & Curiosity founder & CCO Megan Zink interviewed third-generation chocolatier, ‘Chocolate Johnny’ John Kapos about running the family business Perfection Chocolates in Rose Bay, Sydney, Australia, and balancing it all with being a father, husband, entrepreneur, online trailblazer, live video aficionado, speaker, founder, educator and so many other things.Read on to learn some tips for finding the best chocolate around the world and inspiration to learn something new.
Wider Worldview is a new live podcast hosted by Color & Curiosity founder Megan Zink that explores the power of travel – how it can change the world: spark new ideas, foster different perspectives, catalyst curiosity and lifelong learning. Join her for interviews with entrepreneurs, educators and explorers and get inspired to tap into travel as an experiential learning and empathy building tool.
Head over to this link to catch the full audio recording with John ‘Chocolate Johnny’ Kapos – but in the meantime, here’s a snippet of the conversation. This interview has been edited for clarity and brevity.
So Chocolate Johnny, how did it all start?
Well at two years old, my family started Perfection Chocolates here in Sydney Australia. I was born here in Australia, but my parents are Greek and my great uncle and grandfather came to Australia for a better life. And I got involved in the family business.
I traveled the world with the University of New South Wales while I was studying. Unfortunately, though, I got an infectious disease they couldn’t discover for two years (it’s called brucellosis) – and I nearly died. And my parents wanted to take care of me and nurse me back to good health. Eventually I worked for the family business – I loved it and got to travel the world as well. I said to my family, ‘I really want to take this business to the next level, with a website, more machinery, building out a bigger factory.’ And so they said, ‘yep, we’ll go for it.’
I have to ask, where in the world, aside from Perfection Chocolates, have you eaten the best chocolate?
It wasn’t Belgium! I have eaten so much chocolate around the world. I’m a pretty fair palate. I don’t criticize – I just love trying the product and deconstructing it and thinking ‘how can we use these flavors?’
So it sounds like you’re a lifelong learner?
It’s funny, I remember my grandfather died at 105 – he’s from a little village in Greece – and I remember saying to him, ‘you know so much, you haven’t traveled but so many people have come through the village – you’re constantly learning.’ And he said ‘I’ll learn til the day I die. I still learn – don’t stop.’
And that’s sort of the ethos of this platform, and this podcast – to show people there’s always something new to learn, there’s always a new perspective to look at and widen one’s worldview. And I believe that travel can really help build empathy – you start learning about things you don’t know.
If somebody out there was looking for a tip for where to find the best chocolate – do you have anything they should look for?
Every palate is different. I might love salted caramel, and I might give it to you and you might hate it, or I might make a strawberry balsamic vinegar ganache truffle in white chocolate and someone else might hate it – so it really is finding your palette and what you want. People are starting to do all kinds of things – whoever thought chili chocolate would be famous? A long time ago, 30-40 years ago, we were doing salted caramel.
I know we’re live recording right now – but is there any way you can describe what that ‘good chocolate smell’ is supposed to smell like?
When you want into a shop, or a store – you’ll want to look for a rush of, ‘oh my gosh I could smell it.’ And really the brain is the sales guy – ‘I want more, I should buy it.’
So you’re telling us that when we look for the best chocolate if we’re traveling, we need to tap into our hearts and use our intuition?
Yeah 100% – I think when you’re passionate about something and you love something so much, it really comes out in your store.
So do you ship Perfection Chocolates to the US?
If you send me an email (info @ perfectionchocolates.com.au) and mention Wider Worldview and tell me what you want to buy, we’ll set it up.
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Learn More about Chocolate Johnny and Perfection Chocolates
- Business, Coaching & Mentorship website: https://chocolatejohnny.com/
- Perfection Chocolates website: https://perfectionchocolates.com.au/
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/perfectionchocolates/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/perfectionchocolates
- YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCkXjzh7bnDZ1NRdznchG8DA
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/perfectionchocs
- TikTok: https://www.tiktok.com/@perfectionchocolates?lang=en