In the Spotlight : Johnny Battles of Sweeteeth

Does a man like this rilllly need introduction? Doesn’t his reputation for crafting heartbreakingly-good confections precede him? I agree, but wait till you read how down-home cool he is, too.

A few quick sentences about you, your business, your inherent you-ness:
JB: I founded a company, Sweeteeth, where I hand-make chocolates of various forms and infusions. I put a spin on the traditional fancy confections by utilizing local produce and stretching our idea of “sweet”.  I’m based out of Charleston and do what I can to fight the never ending battle against humidity!
When people ask where you’re from, how do you answer?
JB: I always say I’m from a “small town in Alabama”.
Your best friend is coming to visit Charleston for the first time. Where would you take him/her to:
JB: EVO or Nirlep.  As a vegetarian, it’s hard to eat in Charleston some times.  EVO is always delicious and easy to love and Nirlep has held close to my heart (and belly) since I first moved here. Excellent families, excellent food.
JB: Tattooed Moose or Closed for Business maybe.  I don’t really drink but I love to just be at these two places for hours at a time.  The look’s great inside and the folks that work there make it even better.
JB: I can’t say I’m much of a beach person.  The Irish only get one kind of tan, a burn, so I stick to the more shady parts.  I always like to wander around the old plantations and stroll around the city at night.  I love ghost tours!
JB: I would take them to James Quinton’s house, eat cake and ice cream and play dominoes.
Your ideal Saturday afternoon is spent . . . . fill in the blanks.
JB: Getting up early and making pancakes for the fam.  Heading to the farmers market and then cruising over to Robot Candy for a bag ‘o’ sweets.  Eating candy all the way to the car with Liam and Lauren, then watching a movie until we all doze off on the couch.  Mmmmmm, good times.
What’s just one thing that sets you apart from your peers? Don’t be bashful!
JB: Well being a dad for the past two years and a biz owner for the last 4+ is the biggest separator I think.  Other than that, I’m pretty heavily tattooed with a bit of a sailor’s mouth I can’t seem to neutralize.  I’m also a vegetarian which I think might put me at the most odds with my group.  Always makes for good dinner conversation, as in, I get made fun of for the duration.
What’s one (fun/weird/crazy) thing we wouldn’t know about you?
JB: I’ve always wanted to be 30, I love biscuits and gravy more than any food, when I was young I had 8 baby opossums, my dad was a truck driver and gave me the CB handle “Dipstick”, I run long trails to the blackest of metals. (pick one I guess.)
Hollywood calls and they’re going to make a movie of your life. What’s your opening musical score (or the top hit on the soundtrack?)
JB: That’s easy.  Mississippi Queen by Mountain.

No day-in-the-life-of-you is complete without . . . (fill in the blank).
JB: Spongebob with Liam while we eat cereal.  Dropping him off at school.  Trail run.  Chocolate.  Several phone calls to my old friend, Daniel.  Lots and lots of coffee.
What’s the most rewarding thing about your business?
JB: I wish I could say that owning your own biz gives you the reward of showing up to work in a sweatsuit every day.  Sadly, I never take advantage in that way.  To me the biggest reward is time.  My time, for the most part, is mine.  Being able to assemble my work week at my convenience gives me the opportunity to focus on things that are important to those who live an intersecting life to mine.  I can be completely available to my young sir, Liam.  Also, my wife, Lauren, is a teacher who is constantly working and juggling things on top of things.  I’m able to pick up the slack around the house and take care of small things here and there that would end up being an inconvenience to her.  When your kid is happy and your lady is happy, life is gravy.  Also, I’m a runner so it always helps to be able to squeeze runs in in the middle of the day when I need to blow off some steam or just let loose.  So yeah, out of all life’s pleasures, time is the most valuable to me.  By giving me my time, this crazy candy business is fully rewarding.