Real-life Willy Wonka
From joining the dole queues, broke and homeless to the man with the best job in the world
Angus Kennedy is Britain’s Chief Chocolate taster to some of the world’s biggest manufactures and editor of the confectionery trade ‘bible’ Kennedy’s Confection, it’s no wonder that Angus Kennedy has been dubbed the “King of Confectionery” and Britain’s “Real-life Willy Wonka” by the world’s press.
I was broke and thought it was over
Angus has visited more chocolate factories around the globe than any other person on the planet. His office is piled high with sweets and his job really is to test confections, eat them, go and see where they are made and write about them. It wasn’t always ‘that sweet”, says Angus. “Well you see, 13 years ago I was unemployed, bankrupt and wondering what had happened. I had not a penny to my name. Within thirteen years I went from this destitution to having the world’s best job and now I live in a big manor house in kent! Hey, if I can make it, anyone can! My dad died of cancer when I was ten, soon after that my mum took to drink and that polished her off too, brilliant eh! I failed all my exams I ever took and told throughout my school life I was useless, useless to them, yes, but not to what was planned for me. Success is the ability to realize that your failures are exactly what you need to make it.”
Angus is currently writing about his life in his latest book- My Sweet Truth on the strange events that made him into the world’s real Willy Wonka. He is currently working on a television programme for 2014.
Angus was born in London, England, in 1964 in London. The son of an editor in confectionery, he had cocoa in his veins from the start. Having inherited a passion for chocolate, he became involved with his father’s international trade journal, Kennedy’s Confection, at a young age. By seven Angus was already going around the world to attend trade shows with his parents and soon after supplementing his pocket money with his very own column: “”Sweet Spot”. By his early teens, Angus had earned the affectionate nickname “Little Charlie”, after the Roald Dahl character who wins a golden ticket to visit the magical factory of famed candy maker Willy Wonka.
After gaining a degree in Creative arts and Journalism in 1987, Angus took over the running of the family-owned publication, Kennedy’s Confection, from his mother.
Today Angus is regularly called upon by the international press and media for expert comment and industry insight. In 2010 he was head-hunted by many of the biggest confectionery companies in the market, to become their chocolate taster – sampling new products ahead of manufacture. The world’s press described it as the “dream job” and Angus is rapidly becoming a household name as the real-life Willy Wonka.
Through the trade magazine that Angus edits he has organised the world’s first convention of chocolates – The World Chocolate Forum– which takes place in London, every year at the British Library on the 2nd October each year. Press are welcome via invitation.