John Antonelli is the Founder and CEO of acclaimed Austin business Antonelli’s Cheese Shop, which he founded in 2010 with his wife Kendall. John is the operational mastermind behind Antonelli’s Cheese, having completed all of the research and strategic planning for this internationally recognized business.
John has built a model for identifying one’s passion and purpose that, when combining the two, makes for good business, happiness at home, and overall life fulfillment. He believes in finding the Passion to get up in the morning to do what you do, along with a Purpose that will drive others to support you. That Passion with Purpose is the key to creating a meaningful life where your professional and personal lives intersect in a way that brings you success and joy. John’s background in philanthropy has also helped him to build a culture of giving back into a thriving business.
John is, and aims to be, simultaneously entertaining and inspiring. He believes strongly in using optimism, energy, and the power of smiles to have the best impact possible on those around you. John understands and often speaks on the struggles of succeeding in a tough business environment and working through mental health challenges, including depression.
John is both a CPA and CCP (Certified Cheese Professional), and he most enjoys a shared cheese and charcuterie board while traveling with Kendall and his two kids Everett and Elia. He is also known for saying “awesome” a lot.
Whether you need a keynote speaker, a business consultant who’s been there, or just someone to walk you through a heaping platter of cheese, John is the awesome, smiling guy for the job.
Learn from John’s successes, failures, and long journey to build a business that truly embodies Passion with Purpose.
As a founder of a successful business, a champion of optimism, and a learner from failure, John brings a wealth of experience and positive energy to any speaking engagement.
John can walk you through how he built Antonelli’s Cheese, from identifying his passion with purpose, to creating a vision, to building a business plan, to realizing a dream. He can also teach you how to build a great culture and how to show up each day as the best version of yourself for your family, your team, and your community.
Live & Virtual Cheese Tasting
Like life, an event with John Antonelli is just better with cheese. Let John guide you and your group through a cheese experience like no other.
For the Antonellis, cheese is their bread and butter. And when it comes to cheese, the Antonellis believe it’s not just about the food—it’s about the experience.
A live or virtual cheese tasting with John Antonelli makes the perfect experience for any size group or event. Let John be your guide through a world of wonderful new cheeses, with the food and fun alike delivered to you on a platter.
Looking to start or scale a business but have more questions than answers? Learn from John’s successes—and failures—through his 1-on-1 business consulting.
Whether you’re expanding an existing business or just starting your entrepreneurial journey, John Antonelli has been there—and he’s willing to share his knowledge and experience.
John provides in-depth, actionable insights for your business through 1-on-1 consulting. His expertise covers everything from ideating your business to brick-and-mortar questions and building your business around passion with purpose.
MC or Event Host
Need the perfect MC for your next event? John brings humor, positivity, and a passion for your cause that will leave attendees smiling from start to finish and dedicated to your mission.
As an MC, John takes the role of “master of ceremonies” very seriously. A true MC sets the tone for your entire event, and for how people feel when they walk in and when they walk out.
Throughout your event, John Antonelli is your biggest advocate, putting his trademark humor and energy to work in making sure each and every member of your audience shows up—smiling—for your cause.
Austin Food Experiences Guide
Tour all the glorious flavors of Austin, guided by John’s palate as an international food judge and his business connections to many of Austin’s top dining spots.
Austin’s food scene demands a one-of-a-kind food experience to take it all in. Spend a day with the Antonellis, meeting their favorite chefs and getting behind-the-scenes dining at some of Austin’s most iconic dining spots.
With connections to over 150 chefs in Central Texas, John and Kendall offer a truly unique and personal experience as they travel with you, pour bubbles for your group, and walk you through every flavor you indulge in.
What Clients Are Saying
Would definitely hire again!
“Booked John for both a nonprofit conference keynote and a corporate cheese tasting. Our clients loved it. Would definitely hire again!”Nora Weiser, Executive Director of the Greeting Card Association
A consummate host & entertainer
“We’ve booked John for multiple events because he is so customer driven to make sure all our people have a great time. A consummate host and entertainer who knows a lot about food and makes every event a fun and engaging experience.”Erik Day, Senior Vice President at Dell Technologies
One of the best food experiences
“One of the best food experiences we’ve done for our team – both in person and virtually. In fact, we’ve done multiple!”Jeff Friedman, Head of Southwest Region at Facebook
We love working with John
“We love working with John. He’s knowledgeable, funny, and a great business owner who is setting the bar high. Our people love hearing from him and eating cheese with him.”Robin Voss, Environmental Health Officer III at Austin Public Health
Vulnerable yet powerful
“John shares his business acumen and mental health challenges in such a vulnerable yet powerful way, that he’s changed the lives of entrepreneurs we work with.”Julie Niehoff, Director of Education at Local Business Institute
Austin Business Journal "Best CEO"
Guilde Internationales des Fromagers
Certified Public Accountant
Certified Cheese Professional
10th Annual People's Award
2 is Better Than 1
2 is Better Than 1
While John and his wife Kendall are great on their own, anyone who knows them will tell you that spending time with both Antonellis is a totally different experience. John and Kendall go together like, well, a couple—one that has spent a great deal of time taking risks, succeeding, failing, and laughing together, as well as learning to play off of each other’s greatest strengths and weaknesses.
As perfect complements to one another, John and Kendall are more than the sum of their parts. John offers expertise in business planning and logistics, while Kendall can teach you how to bootstrap your marketing to create buzz and get others talking about you. John’s got the numbers, while Kendall’s got the words. Bringing the Antonellis together allows you to reach even more of your audience as they bring their individual perspectives into one dynamic whole.
With both John and Kendall, you can craft a unique event drawing on all of their talents. Their varied experiences and backgrounds allow them to engage effectively with businesses, philanthropic organizations, and small groups alike. An event with the Antonellis might include a marketing workshop in the morning with Kendall, followed by a cheese tasting with the Antonellis, and then a business development workshop with John in the afternoon. How you choose to use their expertise is entirely up to you!
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In the News
Best CEOs 2018: John Antonelli is bringing cheese to the masses
JOHN ANTONELLI: Passion for Cheese Propels to Prominence
Not Your Grandmother’s American Cheese
If you have a question or comment for John, or you’re looking to schedule an event, fill out the contact form below!
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