Discover the chocolate made in Easebourne
Ask most children what they want to be when they grow up chances are some will mention working with chocolate.
But this wasn’t the case for Mike Noble, chief chocolatier at Noble and Stace.
“I want to say it was a childhood dream, but it wasn’t really,” he said.
“It is something that just happened. Probaby fair to say the planets sort of aligned and I started the business.”
That was five years ago when the Easebourne based company launched with fresh cream truffles and two bars one orange flavoured and the other salty caramel.
Now he sells a range of truffles, tablettes and boxed chocolates, including the Great Taste 2020 2 gold star winning Ditchling Gin and Orange Truffles.
Mike said: “When I started I felt it was important to reach out to other local businesses, so I got in touch with a distiller, coffee roaster and brewery to use their products in my chocolates.
“I still work with many of them today. It is important when you start out on your own to have a support network and it is great to have other business’s support.”
Most of what Mike makes stays the same throughout the year, except for Easter when the products are bespoke for that particular period including marbled eggs and chocolate rabbits.
Before lockdown Mike had started holding workshops at the Artisan Bakehouse.
“But the pandemic put a stop to it. It is about eight people, you get lunch and learn how to temper chocolate,” he explained. “I love doing it and can’t wait to start again in the next couple of months when we can.”
Although Mike makes the chocolate in his converted garage and can sell online the lockdown did impact his business.
“Farm shops buying priorities changed and chocolate wasn’t top of the list. I also make chocolates for hotels which just stopped,” he said.
“But other people had to diversify and set up hamper businesses with Sussex produce which I have been a part of. Some parts just stopped overnight but other avenues have opened up.
“The website has got busier. Luckily people still want to buy chocolate.”
To view the full range and to buy visit nobleandstace.co.uk