Here at 365 Magazine we like to fully immerse ourself in traditions, events and national holidays. So with Easter on the horizon it was a no brainer to showcase some of the finest chocolate producers that the South East has to offer. So let us introduce to you, Noble and Stace. We caught up with Mike Noble at his Midhurst base to discuss all things chocolate, and of-course, his passion for using local produce in his work…
So when did you start ‘Noble and Stace’?
Approximately 3 and a half years ago. Before that I was in marketing, and before that business development. I dabbled in property development, running a b&b and various other things! You could say I ‘fell’ into chocolate. Whilst I was running the b&b I played around with making chocolate, and when we moved here we finally had the time and space to start the business properly.
We know that you are passionate about collaborating with other Sussex producers, but when you first started production did you always plan to source things locally?
I didn’t really have any set ideas of how I would run the business when I first started, but after starting to sell into local farm shops I met some great local producers and that is how we started sourcing our ingredients and collaborating with them. One of the first collaborations was with a local brewery, this actually came from a social media comment from Langhams down the road, a very hoppy ale that they produce. We never knew how it would work out but it did- really well. We got a great response from our first batch of beer chocolate and it all went from there. From this, we ended up working with some vineyards as well, which has always been very popular for us.
Can you talk to us about your vegan chocolate offering?
From the craft ale chocolates we actually did a ‘180’ and started to work with a local water supplier to produce our first vegan chocolate. I got in touch with South Downs water and this is how we are now able to produce vegan chocolate. Vegan chocolate has become an increasingly popular product for us, and we are really happy with how the product has developed since we first began.
At the moment, who are you working with to produce your Gin truffles?
This is always a changing element of the business, but at the moment we have truffles using Brighton Gin, Jarrold’s Gin, Tom Cat Gin, Chichester Harbour Gin, Blackdown Gin, Brilliant Gin and Chilgrove Gin.
Have you won any awards as chocolatiers?
We are lucky enough to have been finalists in the Sussex food and drink awards for the last 3 years, which is amazing as we are still a relatively new company.
What kind of events/ shows/ markets can we find you at?
In the run-up to Christmas and Easter we are naturally very very busy. It is actually really difficult to sell chocolate at outdoor events in the summer as you can imagine, so we don’t tend to be ‘out and about’ so much then. But in general, I have a few key farmers markets around the Midhurst area that I attend regularly. To find out more click here.
I have started in the past year running workshops also, these are 4 hour workshops where you can learn to make your own chocolate and take it home with you! An amazing gift someone or activity to do with your loved ones! For more info and upcoming dates see the website.
Do you have any stockists?
I have a few retail partners, such as ‘Cowdray Farm Shop’ who were one of my very first stockists so we have a great relationship, ‘The Hungry Guest’ in Petworth, ‘Hennings’ and also ‘Barney’s Deli’ in Brighton, and the shop at ‘Arundel Brewery’ to name a few.
Look out for our Easter giveaway coming up with the fabulous Noble and Stace, or visit the website for more information on the gorgeous Easter gifts that they have created.