Jon Good isn’t your traditional chocolate guy. He doesn’t quite fit into a mold, even though his business hinges on doing just that.
Good first started making chocolates about two years ago, on a whim. But he’d had experience making and selling food for many years before that: He worked as a chef in his college town’s “hippie co-op” from 2004 to 2006, while a student at Oberlin. After graduating, he stayed with plans to work full-time at an alternative fuel start-up, but it went under soon after he began. Leaning into the opportunity to do his own thing, he started a sandwich delivery business out of his house called “Failure to Lunch.”
Once he shut that down, Good headed east to New York. He worked at restaurants, wrote standardized math tests and edited scientific journals, with some international finance gigs thrown in because he “knew a guy.” But none of these jobs felt quite right, and he began a small-scale catering operation.
As the entrepreneurially minded so often do, Good realized he had a hard time working for other people. He considered his alternatives, and leftover ganache from one of his dinner parties provided key inspiration. Good started by making some dark chocolate bonbons for friends and family by hand, and while peering into his freezer one day, he remembered he had an ice cube tray in the shape of the Millennium Falcon. He poured cocoa butter into the mold, and Jon Good Chocolates was born.
Initially, Good developed his skills by researching techniques on his own. Then he reconnected with an old friend who worked as a chocolatier in Vermont, and another of his assistants, Liz, has a background in ceramics. Her knowledge of inlay techniques informs Jon’s product line and its extreme attention to detail.
Good gets his chocolate and cocoa butter from a family-run importer in Sunset Park. Instead of tempering, he sous vides. This was originally meant to cut costs, but it’s proven to precisely regulate temperatures throughout all steps of his process. Two months ago, inspired by a patisserie that sprays its croissants with butter at Brooklyn’s Foodworks, he bought an airbrushing gun. The tool allows him to turn his chocolate pieces into individual canvasses, where he can paint shadows and other fine details with relative ease.
Outside of his website and Etsy shop, Good’s wares can be found locally at Bklyn Larder, Pels Pie Co. and The Brooklyn Kitchen. His product line is still all dark chocolate, meaning it’s vegan-friendly, with the sole exception of his pig-shaped bacon-chocolate truffles. Some of his pieces have a sci-fi bent, with Dr. Who– and Star Wars–influenced shapes available alongside more classic shapes. He plans to add more characters to his chocolate cast in and is developing flavor options for 12-piece holiday gift boxes. With considerations like raspberry, espresso, banana brûlée, smoked sea salt and lavender, it seems he’s full of Good ideas.