In this episode I interview Pana Barbounis of Pana Chocolate in Melbourne, Australia.
Four years ago when he launched the raw, vegan, organic brand, he filled the first few orders himself. He wrapped them and delivered them on the back of his motorbike.
Now the business takes over $5 million a year and products are sold in over 3,000 stockists in 24 countries. The company employs over 80 staff and recently opened a London office to service the European market.
Pana plans to expand into the US later this year, with a vision to be the world’s number one raw chocolate company by 2017.
In August 2013 the company opened one of the first raw, standalone dessert stores in the world that wasn’t attached to a café and in April this year it achieved another major coup: Knocking multinational chocolate brand Cadbury off the shelves at Etihad sports stadium in Melbourne.
Pana has managed to achieve all this while still owning 100 per cent of his company.
In this interview he talks about:
• Why he deliberately avoids placing his products in large supermarket chains at the moment
• The importance of aligning with the right partners to grow your business
• How the company grew after he was able to give up control and hire other people for their ideas
• Why you shouldn’t sell any or too much of your company in the beginning before it’s had a chance to realise its value
• And much more.
Visit the Pana Chocolate website
Brands mentioned in vegan business news roundup