Pana Barbounis has some chunky ambitions for his raw chocolate brand...Pana Chocolate. The 41-year-old entrepreneur is aiming for the world’s number one spot for raw chocolate...and he's well on his way to achieving that goal. Pana Chocolate is made from vegan, organic ingredients with no refined sugar and using minimal heat (raw) and it's proving a huge success around the world. Pana Barbotins is this month's Choc Boss.
What was your favorite chocolate treat as a child?
My mum would always treat the kids to something sweet after school, and although it
may not have been vegan this definitely started my love of chocolate.
How did you end up becoming a chocolatier?
A close friend of mine asked me to try some raw chocolate a few years back now and it was in that moment I just knew it was the right journey for me. I spent six months developing Pana Chocolate, getting the balance of flavours right, the texture right and using the right ingredients. I tested it amongst friends and friends of friends until I was happy. And happy is what I’ve felt from the beginning and still now.
White, milk or dark?
Describe your favourite chocolate in three words....
Moreish, decadent, satisfying.
Tell us about your most memorable chocolate experience?
Meeting Joanne Harris, author of Chocolat.
Where is your favourite place to indulge your choc-habit?
At work, it’s an everyday occurrence!
Secretly solo or shared indulgence?
Both, although if I’m indulging solo you’ll find me enjoying vegan ice-cream
smothered in chocolate, roasted nuts and fruit.
What's the most unusual chocolate you've ever tasted?
It was one of my own creations, a lavender chocolate which reminded me of potpourri.
What is the mark of an exceptional chocolatier?
Being thorough with your research, understanding your customer and their needs,
placing importance on creating experiences and not just making a product,
and gaining experience in all facets of business yourself.
What advice would you give to someone who wants to follow in your footsteps?
Pana Chocolate is a business founded on a deep passion for quality ingredients, the health of your insides, and a desire to make the world a little nicer through sustainable practices. Having a strong vision for what you believe in and want to achieve is the greatest place to start.
Pana Barbotins is founder of Pana Chocolate.
Pana's delicous range is available from our Love Byron Bay Boutique,
or from our online store... love-byronbay.com/chocstore.