Gnaw enjoys an explosion of chocolately fun!

Gnaw, the Norwich-based makers of a quirky range of sumptuous handcrafted chocolates, has seen their business grow by a massive 50% (£250k) this year, making it one of the region’s most compelling commercial success stories.

The company is now expanding even further with more customers both at home and abroad, and is breaking into the gift market with the launch of a brand new range of tempting treats.

Since it opened its creative kitchen in 2011, Gnaw has become globally recognised as one of the most innovative creators of fun, new chocolate ideas and the leader in its field. And, of course, it’s all handmade in Britain.

With its compelling, colourful packaging and dedicated workforce of ‘squirrels’ who love their craft, Gnaw’s values are simple, but very effective – chocolate should be fun; only the finest ingredients will be used; and they will lead the way in terms of chocolate creativity and innovation.

Gnaw owners, husband and wife team Matt and Teri Legon, originally ran a sweet shop, but could never find chocolate bars that were as exciting and innovative as they wanted them to be. So they decided that if they wanted an interesting product, they would have to make it themselves!

Matt said: “Our idea was a simple one, we believed that chocolate shouldn’t be a ‘serious’ product. It should be fun and make people smile. After all, it is supposed to be a treat…and it tastes delicious too!

“We set out to develop a quirky, exciting range of products that use only the best ingredients from around the world, that use no artificial colours or flavours and that are handcrafted.

“Creativity – coming up with exciting and original flavours is vital to us. We wanted to eat chocolate that tasted of things we wouldn’t expect – like banoffee pie or lemon meringue. So we conjured up some interesting flavour combinations ourselves and quickly found a niche market both at home and overseas, where ‘British-made’ is very popular.

“We have just unveiled our new Great British Nibbles range, which we have created for the expanding gift market. The Butter Fudge, Lemon Coconut Ice, Chocolate-coated Honeycomb, and Salted Cashew Nut Brittle are Gnaw’s own fun twist on well-loved flavours and we’re sure they will be loved by chocolate fans of all ages.”

Gnaw has also made a new addition to its imaginative and enticing range of chocolate bars - a Salted Caramel and Peanut flavour.

“We may be a small enterprise, but we believe in our product. We are passionate, ambitious and confident – without being arrogant,” says Matt.

That passion and creativity is clearly a heady mix and Gnaw has conjured up some increasingly popular chocolatey magic, with a range that includes bars, buttons, Hot Choc Shots, Goodeee Boxes and Chocolate Chompers.

“We now export to 25 countries,” says Matt, “and we are hoping soon to start exporting to Singapore, Malaysia and South Korea. In the UK our products have 1000 outlets, including East of England Co-op stores, Picturehouse Cinemas, 176 BP service stations and the Garden Centre Group. We also supply many great delis and farm shops throughout East Anglia. Our turnover in 2014 is expected to be £750k.”

But back to those squirrels! The chocolatier’s kitchen is a mysterious world – full of steam, vats of things simmering away – and some pretty fabulous smells as well.

“Our gang of hardworking squirrels is part of our personality, and we love the way they are committed to our ideals and working very long hours for a few extra nuts!” says Matt. “They run the business very efficiently for us and get good publicity for their pains.

“Our operation is expanding very fast, so adding even more furry friends to our team is on the cards.”
 

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