Big plans: One-man band Mike Longman is seeking crowdfunding support to expand his Cornish business

A Cornwall-based chocolatier is aiming to raise £30,000 through a crowdfunding strategy to keep up with growing markets.

Mike Longman, founder of Chocolarder based near Ponsanooth, hopes to raise the sum to pay for an expansion to his factory, open a ‘community hub’ in Porthleven, as well as refurbishing an antique Victorian cacao roaster.

Longman, very much a one-man-band, makes the chocolate from scratch, bean-to-bar, and is already facing off with Cornwall chocolate powerhouse, Trenance.

“By crowdfunding this way, we hope to remain true to the qualities of our business that make it so special,” Longman said. “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.”

Crowdfunding has become an important part for much of Cornwall’s development, both environmentally and as a business hub.

At the tail end of 2017, £1,800 was raised to build a community orchard in Bude and almost £1000 was raised by Beach Guardian, who aims to acquire beach-cleaning equipment and organise regular beach cleans.

Longman’s venture also comes at a time where ethical production is at the forefront of many environmental efforts made in Cornwall.

Plastic straws have been eliminated from many Cornish restaurants and bars, with over 80 restaurants having joined the ‘Final Straw’ campaign.

Chocolarder insists the company’s produce is ethical and sustainable, and Longman sticks to raw ingredients and finishes the product with minimal impact on the environment, including packaging all products 100% plastic free with the benefit of being fully recyclable.

TRUTHFAL VIDEO: Jack Warrick and Else Welde report from the Ponsanooth HQ of Mike Longman’s chocolate business as he seeks backing for his expansion plans