An artisan chocolate maker is expanding his Easebourne business, by digging deeper into his garage.
Mike Noble set up Noble and Stace at his home in 2015 with his partner but after two years of growing support from customers and traders alike, he applied for permission to carve out more space to help production.
The company, which supplies 17 businesses, is set to expand with products such as gin, wine and coffee from other Sussex producers.
Mike said the work would be crucial for creating an approved food production environment and gave ‘a massive thank you’ to customers for their support so far.
He said: “It’s really important because we’re simply running out of space.
“Chocolate making is a lengthy process and it takes time for things like truffles to set before they can be dipped, decorated and packed, so you need quite a lot of space for things as they go through the various stages of the process.
“The new space will be used for just that, cooling chocolates, decorating, storage and packing.”
Mike said he hoped the extra space would free up not just work areas but time to create new chocolatey ideas for customers to enjoy and go along to more tastings and events.
So far, the start-up has been highly commended in the Observer Business awards in the small business category and came runner up at the Sussex Food and Drink Awards.
Although a shop of his own may be a while, demand is going up and he gave ‘a massive thank you’ to customers for their support so far.
He said: “It’s been a huge learning curve but a lot of fun at the same time.
“It’s always really heartwarming when people give great feedback and when you think that you’re making something that people really love, it’s really inspiring.”
It is hoped the space will be converted and ready for the build up to Christmas.