Five on Friday: Kokopod’s Brigid Woolnough 

 

She’s the queen of chocolate (in my opinion) and her macnuts are to die for, so jump over to the blog and meet my enormously talented and award-winning friend, Brigid of KOKOPOD.

How would you describe KOKOPOD?
KOKOPOD is an evolving brand focused on delivering award-winning couverture chocolates to the true lovers of fine food.

Why chocolate?
Upon my first trip to Germany as an exchange student at the age of 16, my host sister’s Father worked at a universally known commercial chocolate factory and I was amazed at their endless supply of chocolate. They had a whole cupboard in their kitchen dedicated to chocolate selections! They even had chocolate discs designed to be eaten on white toast. I returned home with 16kg of Swiss chocolate and have been slightly obsessed ever since! Each subsequent trip to Germany over the years had resulted in a similar chocolate haul of upon returning to Australia, however these days it’s ME who now takes suitcases of chocolate to Europe.

What was the turning point your life / career that helped you decide to start your own business?
Having a family put things into perspective for me; with a FIFO husband and a sleepless child, I wanted flexibility within a career in order to put raising my family first. Investing in a hobby whilst on maternity leave from my Primary teaching position was the best thing I have ever done. I never quite knew the end goal and direction of KOKOPOD, I just knew I wanted to explore the chocolate journey as far as I possibly could … and here we are!

What has been your most memorable moment since starting KOKOPOD?
An all expenses paid invitation to Switzerland last year (2015) to work with some of the world’s most refined pastry chefs and chocolatiers was mind-blowing. With my then 3-year-old in tow, a 20 week old bun in the oven, a dear friend and two weeks’ notice – we set off on a European adventure peaking in the town of Schwyz, working with the Swiss chocolate brand ‘Felchlin’. As one of only two females in the group and the sole Australian, it would have been easy to feel like a fish out of water, however things felt so right and I knew I was exactly in the right place at the right time.

Describe an average day in the kitchen for KOKOPOD?
As much time is spent in the designing and preparation processes for each product or event as there is for the construction and production of KOKOPOD chocolates. Some days the tables are full of books, notepads, sketches and electronics and other days full of chocolate moulds, piping bags, paintbrushes and of course chocolate!

What was the first sweet/chocolate you made and was it for anyone in particular?
Pavlova was the first dessert I conquered under the expert guidance of my mother and grandmother. My family has always been the best ‘guinea pigs’ for the trials of each and every kitchen experiment. It was a bonus having two sisters to grow up with; they were happy to do the dishes in exchange for licking the bowl!

What is your favorite or most popular chocolate flavor combo/product that you make?
Anything with nuts and milk chocolate are always at the top of my list. Caramel is a surety also. My biggest obsession is the ‘Classic Macnuts’, which are caramelised roasted macadamia nuts coated in milk chocolate and dusted in dutch cocoa powder. Unfortunately, I am not the only one who adores these and therefore demand always outweighs supply.

What would you change if you could start again?
There isn’t too much I would change – perhaps begin exploring the world of chocolate a little earlier in my life.

Find KOKOPOD online (including stockist details) at www.kokopod.com.au, as well as on Facebook and Instagram.

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