March 3 2015 Latest news:
By DAVID BALE
Wednesday, August 15, 2012
A Norfolk chocolate maker has moved into larger premises and is starting to export across the world, after a rapid rise in just 16 months.
Gnaw has taken a lease at the Livestock Market in Hall Road, south Norwich, and built a chocolate factory at the site.
Matt and Teri Legon founded Gnaw chocolate in Brooke, south Norfolk, in February last year after selling their Norwich store, Mr Simms’ Olde Sweet Shoppe, in London Street.
Their new premises are three-and-a-half times bigger than those in Brooke and they have now taken on three extra staff, with a total workforce now approaching 10.
Mr Legon said: “We have already invested about £400,000 in the company and are on target for a turnover of the same amount.
“We have grown rapidly and are already exporting to 600 retailers across the UK and to Denmark, France and Dubai.
“We are really proud of what we’ve done.”
The company makes 28 different brands of chocolate bar, hot choc shots and chocolate drops. These include lemon meringue, mint choc chip, banoffee pie, Norfolk lavender, cherry bomb and peanut butter.
Mr Legon added: “We never expected to do so well so quickly.
“I think we are different in what we do and have a unique selling point. We have brought the fun back into chocolates and are different to anything else on the market.”
Although their chocolate is sourced from Belgium, they buy in lavender and chilli peppers from Norfolk suppliers.
“We’re very much a Norfolk product, we’re very proud that every single bar is handmade in Norfolk,” added Mr Legon.
With a reputation as one of the toughest people in business, many stores would shudder at the thought of getting the Mary Portas treatment.