James Hird plans to kick goals in the chocolate arena
FIONA BYRNE, Herald Sun
April 22, 2017 7:39pm
JAMES Hird has spoken about the sweeter things in life, with chocolate being the new arena in which he plans to kick goals.
The former footy great is working to establish a foothold in the Australian market for one of world’s finest dark chocolate brands, Cacao Hunters.
He and his business partners Chris McKiernan and David Yallouz, have acquired the Australian license for the chocolate which is made from Cacao beans grown and harvested in Columbia.
Hird made several trips to South America last year to learn more about the company and the chocolate making process.
“It is a lot more fun than football coaching, I can tell you that,’’ Hird said.
“It is better than talking about footy after the couple of years we have had. I am laughing all the time.’’
Admitting he was a sweet-tooth, Hird said he was delighting in the challenge of launching the chocolate venture and building it from the ground up in Australia.
“It is great fun to get your hands dirty and go to Columbia and talk to the people making the chocolate and go into the jungle and see where they are growing the Cacao beans,’’ he said.
“It is great to go out to markets and festivals — we are at the Wicked Chocolate Festival at the Prahran Market on May 7 — to talk to people about the product.
“I was at the Box Hill market before Christmas which raised a few eyebrows, but it is a lot of fun.’’
He said another attraction was that it was an interest which he could enjoy with his family.
“It is similar to football in that it is family orientated but it is not as high pressure as the cut and thrust of professional football,’’ he said.
“I suppose everyone loves chocolate and no more so than my family. They love eating it and being part of the process. I love chocolate and my kids at Easter have to hide their eggs from their father.’’
Hird has enormous faith in the quality of the Cacao Hunters product which won gold medals at the 2015 and 2016 London International Show for best micro batch dark chocolate.
He also believes Melburnians could be more than just coffee connoisseurs.
“Melbourne is known worldwide for its coffee. I think Melbourne could become equally as well known as a chocolate capital.’’