BRITAIN’S leading chocolate expert is upping sticks and moving 6,000 miles to the middle of the Amazon — so he can be closer to the source of his favourite food.
Angus Kennedy (pictured), who currently lives in Maidstone with his wife Sophia and their five children, is embarking on an epic move to Ecuador, after being offered a job in the country’s cocoa industry.
Government officials from the South American country phoned up Mr Kennedy, 55, in November and told him that they had been tracking his career — before offering him a huge 50-acre estate in the South American jungle.
In exchange, he will provide advice and expertise on how to inject new life into the Ecuadorian cocoa industry, which is now in decline.
Friends have questioned why he would want to give up a comfortable life in Kent, but Angus and his family are adamant that the opportunity has come at the perfect time.
He said: ‘A lot of people are starting to feel that the harder you work, the slower things seem to go, which can get really frustrating.
‘I’d just started thinking how monotonous life was — it was nothing but shopping and school runs.
‘Then this came out of the blue and it was like a fairytale. When I spoke to my wife, she didn’t believe it. But it became apparent quite quickly that they were serious.
‘We had a barrage of messages, but the more people who said we’re crazy, the more determined it made us.’
The family are no strangers to overseas drama, having fallen foul of a holiday scam when they packed their bags for Majorca earlier this year, but they insist there is no such danger this time around.
Angus and his eldest son Leon, 19, flew out to South America just two weeks after contact was first made to meet those involved.
Another visit, this time involving the whole family, is pencilled in for February, where they’ve even been invited to the vice president’s palace.
They’re set to move to Ecuador for good this summer.
The plan is for the younger children — eight-year-old Keiran and George, 13 — to be home-schooled while older siblings — Ruby, 17, Leon, 19, and 20-year-old Lorna — have either deferred school or university places, or will continue to study remotely.
Mr Kennedy said: ‘Everything seemed to fall into place — it feels like a good time to do something mad.
‘There’s always reasons not to do things, and I’m not sure where this is going to take us, but it’s one of those situations where you just have to throw caution to the wind.
‘I just want to allow my life to happen rather than trying to control everything.
‘Hopefully, people see it as a good motivational story.’