Young entrepreneur Liam Burgess from Llanboidy chocolate company nomnom is celebrating after winning a prestigious national award.
The 20-year-old set up his chocolate factory in an old caravan in Llansteffan a year ago and has since gone from strength to strength.
His chocolate has been mentioned at Prime Minister's Questions and at the recent Hay-on-Wye Festival it won fans in Benedict Cumberbatch, Tom Hollander and Cerys Matthews.
Now the inventor of such creations as marmalade and peanut butter chocolate bars, Liam has won second prize in the Countryside Alliance Awards - the "Rural Oscars" – in the start-up category.
Simon Hart MP who has been supporting Liam in his first year of business said: "Liam may only have been a teenager when he started out with the help of a Prince's Trust grant but he has built up a very successful business thanks to his ingenuity, great product and marketing."
Liam added: "This is our first award and a great way to mark our first anniversary. The past year has been fantastic and couldn't have gone any better.
"I have just had the most amazing week at Hay-on-Wye and we are just moving into our new factory in Llanboidy. At the moment there are six of us but I have plans to eventually employ 12."
Liam has secured a £50,000 loan to fit out his new factory but is now trying to access a further £30,000 in funding to enable his expansion plans to go ahead.
"I am looking into setting up chocolate bonds, so that customers who invest £200 will get chocolate in the post for a year – a kind of choc-starter rather than kickstarter you could say!" he added.
The Countryside Alliance prizes were awarded by Environment Secretary Owen Paterson at a ceremony at the Houses of Parliament. He said: "These awards celebrate rural businesses across the UK, they are the backbone of rural life and it is vital that we do all we can help create the right conditions to allow these businesses to compete and thrive."
Simon Hart MP
House of Commons
15, St John St
or 0207 219 3000