Cornish Chocolate maker Chocolarder launches its crowdfunding campaign!

Artisan chocolate maker Chocolarder is launching a crowdfunding campaign for a factory expansion including a unique community hub in Porthleven which will be the only location in Cornwall where confectionery lovers can see world-class chocolate being made from scratch.

Chocolarder, based in Ponsanooth, near Falmouth, is a bean-to-bar producer making chocolate from start to finish. Currently, Chocolarder is just one man in a cold concrete production space in a Cornish valley but it’s hoped the crowdfunding campaign will raise the £30,000 required to equip a new factory to keep pace with growing markets. The money raised will also help founder Mike Longman to refurbish an antique Victorian cacao roaster to accommodate the increasing demand for fine quality, ethically-produced chocolate.

Once complete, the new facility will be a real destination for chocolate lovers, hosting a café and space for chocolate workshops and events.

Mike founded Chocolarder in 2012 and since then has won acclaim and a loyal fanbase for his exquisite premium chocolate range with unique ingredients ranging from sea buckthorn to wild gorse plus gold, frankincense and myrrh! Chocolarder currently supplies selected farm shops and delicatessens across the West Country as well as high-end retailers Harrods and Selfridges.

The larger production facility will enable Mike to keep up with the growing demand for his products. Additionally, Mike will be able to share his passion and knowledge of the growers, the entire chocolate-making process and its health benefits when produced correctly.

The crowdfunding campaign will get underway at midday on 14th March at

where donors can enjoy exclusive gifts and experiences such as tours, corporate events and products ranging from just £10 to £5,000.

Prior to launch, the campaign has already drawn the attention of judges in a competition supported by Crowdfunder, Go Daddy, Exporting is Great and Capital IFX, and has won £1,000.

Donors can get exclusive access to Mike’s ever-expanding range of experimental products and other rewards include:

  • An invitation to the launch party which is scheduled for July and will include a hog roast and of course, Chocolarder chocolates, for £40 a head
  • A hot chocolate and a personal thank you from Mike at the new café for £10
  • A feast night with three-course meal with Mike and also Chris Eden, the first Cornishman to be awarded a Michelin star for £100 per head
  • An exclusive Chocolarder subscription giving you three bars through the post every month for a year for £150
  • An exclusive surfboard with other Chocolarder merchandise for £1800


You can also buy the opportunity to name the new roaster for just £1,000 and you’ll also be the person who uses the machine for the very first cacao bean roasting!

Mike said: “This next chapter is a giant step for Chocolarder.  My intention was to create a product based on the principles that have always been at the heart of great food – unadulterated enjoyment without compromise. We are genuinely thrilled to be able to open up the workshop so that people can see and feel a part of the amazing work we are doing, by bringing chocolate-making back to an artisan level and bringing about a revolution in its production!”

Chocolarder is proud of its strong ethical principles and all aspects of the business are run as sustainably and ethically as possible.  Mike is committed to buying raw ingredients at above-market prices and shipping both the raw and finished product with minimal impact on the environment. Packaging is 100% plastic free and is completely recyclable.

Mike added: “We are so grateful for all the support that we’ve had from our incredible community of luxury chocolate lovers. We often say that our customers feel like friends more than strangers and we’d love to involve even more people to share in our next adventure!  By crowdfunding this way, we hope to remain true to the qualities of our business that make it so special. Come and join us!”


Launch of Ridgeway Nutrition!

You could be forgiven for being confused by the massive array of diet options available at the moment – there’s keto, paleo, GI and the juice diet to name just a handful.

It can be hard to know where to start and which nutrition plan is best for you. To guide people through the maze, Flick Lucas, a West Ilsley-based mother-of-two, has set up a new specialist nutrition consultancy called Ridgeway Nutrition for anyone wanting to get help and guidance on being healthier.

Passionate about good food and healthy eating, Flick is a Diet and Nutrition Adviser registered with the International Association of Holistic Therapists and the Complementary Medicine Association. She knows all about being too busy to find the time to cook, let alone to prepare healthy meals. With a career in IT that meant an early commute to London, returning late at night, she realised that her health was suffering.

When her two children were born, she decided not to return to her demanding job and looked to her passion for food as a career option.

Flick is able to provide a range of services for anyone who wants to overhaul their eating habits, whether that’s embracing veganism, giving up refined sugar or even avoiding Palm Oil. Her specialist plans include a nutrition ‘reboot’ programme, dietary guidance for toddlers and young children; three-month weight management programmes and nutrition tune-up packages and cookery classes.

She also can help new mothers and mothers-to-be who she says can be ‘bombarded’ with conflicting information about what to eat.

She said “I realised that healthy eating doesn’t have to mean denying yourself and I can show you how to reach your goals in a balanced, healthy way. Whether this is losing weight, adjusting to a new diet due to medical reasons or allergies, or just being more mindful about the food you eat. Eating healthily doesn’t mean your food has to be bland!”

Flick, who wants to spread the message of healthy eating, has already approached her local school and offers healthy cooking as part of an after-school club.

She said: “I can also help with animal welfare concerns and give advice and guidance on how to eat more sustainably or if you want to pick a more specialised diet such as pescatarian.

“On some diets, it’s often difficult to find a source of nutrients such as protein I can advise on making things that contain these nutrients, as sometimes people will hear from the doctor that they need to lower their cholesterol, that they’re actually intolerant to dairy or have an iron deficiency. It may be even as simple as someone wanting to reduce the cost of their weekly shop, yet stay healthy.

Potential clients can book an initial nutritional assessment costing £50 where Flick can assess BMI and basal metabolic rate. Clients complete a seven-day food diary to get the complete picture of what their intake of calories, protein, carbohydrate, fat, fibre, caffeine, alcohol, and all vitamins and mineral looks like so that Flick can personalise a three-month plan.

She added: “For a small extra charge I can come and guide you through preparing healthy meals in your kitchen and support you staying on track. I can work closely with clients to not only give them a personalised plan but show them how to cook the meals without breaking the bank or taking up loads of time.  What works for one person may not necessarily work for another.”


For more information, click onto


“I’ve been articulated!” – review of Some Mothers Do Ave Em at the Wyvern Theatre, Swindon

2. Joe Pasquale as Frank Spencer in Some Mothers Do 'Av 'Em, credit Scott Rylander.jpg

Frank Spencer impressions were all the rage across school playgrounds in the 1970s and early 1980s.

Even though you could hardly move for small children shouting “ooh Betty” and “the cat done a whoopsie” in homage to Some Mothers Do Ave Em, it’s still difficult to imagine anyone but Michael Crawford in one of comedy’s most iconic roles.

A brave decision then to bring it to the stage for a UK tour which started its run last week with a stint the Wyvern Theatre in Swindon.

Fortunately, unlike Frank himself, the production did not put a foot wrong. Joe Pasquale in the role of Spencer (FW) is an inspired choice thanks to his distinctive voice and underdog appeal. He did a brilliant job of recreating Frank’s mannerisms effectively and believably without being a bad tribute act, and in fact was cast without audition for the show after breaking a fan in true Spencer-style in front of the writer of the show, Guy Unsworth.

Obviously the scale of the show avoided the larger set pieces such as steering a car into the sea or flying through the church roof, but Pasquale did get “articulated” in a splendid recreation of one of the original stunts involving a staircase.

The story is very closely based on the TV series and feels very much like a whistle-stop tour of Frank’s adventures, originally written by Raymond Allen, packing plenty into the show including the iconic beret and trench coat.

There were DIY disasters aplenty, and an ingenious set design that captured the aesthetic of the sitcom while pleasingly falling apart and exploding at just the right moments.

The story centres on two original storylines – that of Betty trying to tell Frank that she is expecting and the BBC visit to film Frank’s DIY.  Although the small ‘twist’ didn’t quite make sense, the story managed to pack in lots of fan favourites and cleverly meshed together Frank’s famous mispronunciations, jokes and lines from the three original series.

The six-person cast captured the essence of the original series perfectly with Sarah Earnshaw as a fantastic Betty, ably capturing the horror of being married to someone so accident prone. I actually thought Susie Blake as Frank’s mother-in-law was better than the original TV cast member and there was tremendous support too from Moray Treadwell, David Shaw-Parker and Chris Kiely who combined very physical comedy with lines from the original show that have been enhanced and updated.

The show is touring the UK and whether you’re a fan of Some Mothers or new to the world of Frank Spencer, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.

To see what’s coming up at the Wyvern Theatre, visit

Photos by Scott Rylander