Kokopod – Chocolart
It’s more than a sweet, silky-smooth two-step on your tastebuds, Kokopod chocolate is the whole show! as Carlie Wacker discovered.
As a chocolate lover, I was delighted to find KOKOPOD Chocolate – it’s local, pretty (oh so very aesthetically pleasing) and unique in flavour, presentation and style. My exploration into this local business required some serious research so I stepped up to the chocolate plate of course. The combination I tried first included traditional Turkish delight. Dried rose petals, and toasted almonds – Delightfully Turkish had me at hello! When you have been introduced to this type of quality you simply cannot go back and that is where the story began for founder (and our fashion model in the debut issue of Hello Sunshine Magazine) Brigid Woolnough.
Brigid travelled to Europe in her teens and discovered the art of chocolate making is a craft steeped in tradition and skill.
“I discovered chocolate that hadn’t existed in my world before. It was rich, smooth and not so sweet. I worked out the metrics for what made chocolate taste like that, one being the rich European dairy available in the green hills and I was able to experience many variations to work out exactly what I wanted to share with my first group of consumers; my own family – 16kg of taste tests to be exact,” says Brigid.
KOKOPOD was birthed while Brigid was on maternity leave as a primary school teacher. She would spend her days studying the science of chocolate and playing with recipes.
“It began as a hobby making wedding cakes for friends, and in the ‘off peak’ wedding season, I’d sell chocolate at the markets. At some point the demand became so strong, that I couldn’t do both careers,” she shares.
“Having two children and a FIFO husband, I chose chocolate because I could create it in our registered, home-based kitchen when the children were asleep, so it worked. After studying chocolate in Australia and abroad, I was able to combine my two loves and teach Entrepreneurial programs in schools as well as host children’s chocolate-making sessions…so I’ve created a path that combines both!”
The art of chocolate is one that blends skill with science and anyone who has tried to temper a bowl of chocolate at home after watching cooking shows will relate.
“TV makes it look easy,” says Brigid. “What’s not able to be measured through TV or a book are environmental conditions that have a direct effect, and the blend of chocolate being worked with.”
The innovative business and its growth were both recognised at the Sunshine Coast Business Awards in 2019 – Small Business Award for Food & Agribusiness on the Sunshine Coast. And just recently, Brigid was named one of the State’s Most Exciting Entrepreneurs under 40 years of age.
“The point is to create your own path and pave the way for new ideas to flourish,” says Brigid.
And the Grazing Chocolate for Cheese is a key example of innovation.
“When done correctly, chocolate can be paired with many different ingredients and cheese is just one of them,” says Brigid.
“Our plant-based brand created in 2019 NOMU NOMS is also a game changer…blending vegan chocolates and macadamias into a snack served in compostable packaging.”
When it comes to the art of any successful business, Brigid shares this great advice – “You have to be 100% sold out for your cause… because at the end of the day, through all the obstacles ahead, you have to find energy within to keep moving forward.
“Find someone who believes in you because there will be days where you need a reminder of how you got where you are and where you are going.”
Well, I’m sold and currently waltzing my way through a Leatherwood Honeycomb block closely followed by Crème Brulee and Caramelised Coconut – Yum!
Order yours Here
I will not be sharing mine.