Food Focus - October 2018
Each month we’re delighted to provide a focus on the wonderful produce that makes Norfolk such a special foodie place. We are proud to be welcoming our friends at Feast Norfolk Magazine and Proudly Norfolk as guest writers. This month's feature is below...
GNAW CHOCOLATE TELLS US HOW THE NORWICH CHOCOLATERS ARE CONSTANTLY COMING UP WITH FUN AND INNOVATIVE PRODUCTS
Who are you and what do you do?
We are Matt and Teri Lagon and when we couldn't source quality chocolate products for our sweet shop in Norwich, we decided to make our own! We embarked on a mission to bring the fun back into chocolate; and the Gnaw chocolate brand launched in 2011.
Where are you based? And how many people do you employ?
Our team of 30 handcraft the chocolate at our factory near the Norwich Livestock market. There has been significant investment in the team recently, ensuring that the correct people are in place to take the business forward. This has included doubling factory hours to meet increasing demand.
Tell us about what you produce?
Every one of our artisan chocolate is carefully handcrafted in our Norfolk kitchens with locally sourced ingredients, natural flavours and no added nasties! The brand has gone from strength to strength. In 2017, Gnaw launched their second range, Brooke & Amble - a range of single origin chocolate bars; 2018 saw the launch of the new range of chocolate bars with a healthy twist - an innovation in the chocolate marketplace. We have also just launched our liqueur Hot Chocolate Shot rang: Irish cream, Amaretto and Coffee Liqueur.
Where can we buy your products?
You can grab Gnaw treats in Sainsbury's superstores, Debenhams, Notcutts and Dobbies garden centres, and Picturehouse cinemas, such as Norwich's Cinema City - along with small independent shops, coffee shops, delis and farm shops across the UK. Gnaw now exports to more than 20 countries, including France, the USA, Morocco, South Africa and China.
What's the best seller - and what's the most unusual flavour you create?
Our Salted Caramel and Peanut Butter bars fly off the shelves. We are also seeing a rise in the popularity of the dark bars - we recently launched a 72 per cent cocoa dark chocolate range: Toasted Coconut and Raspberry Crisp. Our quirkiest flavour? Maybe the added zingy-kick of Chilli & Lime, the bite of Crystallised Ginger and the creamy Banana-caramel sweetness of Banoffee Pie.
Any future plans?
Of course, but that would be telling. Our new Product Development Team is constantly trialling new flavours and developing our quirky new bar. Recent growth in demand from those with food intolerances, those making consumption lifestyle choices such as veganism and the demand for healthier options led to the development of Gnaw's new bite-sized chocolate and granola bars. These are made with 35 per cent healthy ingredients.
How green is your company?
We take great pride in ensuring we're an ethical company; all Gnaw packaging is recyclable and all energy used in the Gnaw factory and offices is from 100 per cent renewable energy. Our cocoa is sourced from small plantations, ensuring there is a good working practice.
How has Norfolk Food and Drink been able to help you?
We are proudly a Norfolk producer and always will be. Being involved with the ever-growing Norfolk Food and Drink community of quality local producers is great - we have collaborated with others such as Crush Foods, who supply all our granola for our latest 'healthier' chocolate range.