‘Invention, my dear friends, is 93% perspiration, 6% electricity, 4% evaporation, and 2% butterscotch ripple.’ – Willy Wonka.
We always like visiting our customers on their home turf, and were very excited to go and see NomNom Chocolate in their new premises earlier this summer. And indeed turf is the operative word – to find them you need to go into greenest, lushest Wales, over plenty of pot holes and down a gorgeously grassy track. There are no signs to their ‘Cowshed’ and this is very much part of their attraction.
In this Welsh wilderness, their beautiful products are created. Liam, his mother, and their great small team were hard at work tempering, pouring and wrapping when I arrived. It was a hive of activity, with the phone going, and the fitting out of their new premises still being polished off. Hard not to draw parallels with Roald Dahl’s famous chocolate factory really.
Handmade really does mean handmade in NomNom’s world – every single delectable bar is wrapped in bright colourful foil by hand and then carefully sealed and wrapped with their distinctive kraft paper, before being delicately glued to finish. I don’t know how many folds there must have been in their first year of business, but it is an extremely impressive process to watch. They could certainly enter some origami speed competitions – they are very very fast.
I like to think Wales is about youth, energy, innovation, vibrancy and imagination, and this exciting company has all of the above in chocolate-mould fulls. Always on the look out for the newest, seasonal flavours, and meticulous about the presentation of his products, Liam, who started the business when he was still in his teens, told me he is thinking about growth and branding and the future of chocolate.
That, though, is his story to tell when the time is right.
For now, let me just tell you I have a weakness for the Marmalade chocolate, the Welsh Cake variety and the good old classic Halen Mon flavour.
Once you have one piece it is very, very hard not to finish off the whole delectable bar. Best of all, you’ll be able to buy it when our new webshop goes live in the next few weeks.
Illustrations: J Lea-Wilson