Domea Favour Plymouth

Introducing 'Domea Favour' - Plymouth-based Artisan Chocolatiers

Move over Willy Wonka, there’s a new kid on the block..

While 2020 dealt a cruel blow to many independent businesses, some smaller makers are thriving against the odds.ย  Take independent chocolatier Domea Favour โ€“ pronounced “do-me-a favour”. Established by self-taught chocolate aficionado, Nicholas Kittle, the business recently opened its doors on Plymouth’s historic Royal William Yard. Occupying the historic Brewhouse Building, this quirky little chocolate shop offers an array of sweet snacks and delicious delicacies.
No stranger to working in a grand naval setting, Nicholas was previously Head Chef at HMS Drake. After 20 years working in the fine dining biz, he left to pursue a career as a full-time chocolatier. Nicholas describes himself as a self-taught enthusiast with “no formal qualification but a degree in passion and honours in originality”. Keen to learn more, Maverick had a few questions to ask the ambitious entrepreneur…

Nicholas, what’s your professional background and why chocolate?

I was a chef for 20 years and always enjoyed the pastry side of it. Two decades of working in fine dining were a steep and brilliant learning curve. I’ve been lucky to be mentored along the way and I’ve worked in some incredible places in Tresco, with the Tanners, and at HMS Drake. The experiences ignited a spark that hasn’t gone out – they all shaped me and helped me reach this point.
When my sister got married, I made her wedding breakfast. I included some handmade chocolates as part of the meal and they went down a storm. It became a hobby of sorts; putting in long hours in the kitchen at work and coming home to make chocolate in my own kitchen. I started six years ago and eventually took the plunge last year to give up my job and focus on chocolate full time.

Have you faced any challenges setting up shop?

Time management is a challenge. There never seems to be enough hours in a day! That’s partly because I make all the chocolates and sweet treats, fresh, on site.
It’s amazing to see people coming from in the city and further afield to visit the shop. So far, it’s proving to be really popular and always busy, which is wonderful but it does mean there is a never a quiet moment. The shelves are often empty by the end of the day, so it’s a race to get everything done and stock topped up before opening again.
Domea-Favour Plymouth
Domea-Favour Plymouth

Do you have a signature chocolate?

Everything is handmade here and totally unique, often weaving in local produce like Plymouth Gin and Barbican Botanics gin. My favourite signature chocolate is the Fitz, named after a good friend of mine who runs Plymouth’s incredible Honky Tonk Wine Library. Fitz and I worked together, and he always told me to follow my dreams. I told him that if I ever opened a chocolate shop, I’d name a chocolate after him and I did! The Fitz is dark chocolate and stem ginger, it’s really special.

What’s an ingredient you can’t live without?

I’d have to say cacao – I go through a lot. Currently I use around 100kg a week!
I really believe in using quality ingredients and creating exceptional products. I also really believe in people understanding the provenance of what they’re eating, and in time would love to turn Domea Favour into the full chocolate experience; with lessons on the origins of chocolate, where in the word it grows, and give people a chance to see, feel, make and taste it. I am so passionate about what I do, I’d like to bring my customers along on that journey.

Do you have a go-to recipe book?

There are actually three books I’ve made over the years with all my notes in. I’ve put them together into one file that I lovingly refer to as my Bible. It’s where I’ve jotted down new ideas, ingredients, and measurements. It contains ideas for recipes that have gone on to become firm favourites. I’m always creating, experimenting, and refining, so it’s good to have somewhere to capture that.

Milk, Dark or White Chocolate?

Milk chocolate is my personal favourite because of its fluidity. It’s also really versatile ingredient that I enjoy pairing with other flavours. It’s universally popular with customers too and I’m always working with it, so Domea Favour milk chocolate is as fresh as you can possibly get. I make it, cut it, and it’s already halfway out the door!

What’s a surprisingly good flavour combination?

What you create is only limited by your imagination. I love to be playful with my ideas. That is especially true of creative flavour combinations; once you understand flavours and see people’s reactions, you start to test the limits and push barriers. Chocolate and rosemary work beautifully together, as does beetroot and pecan. Plum, coffee and coconut are surprisingly incredible together too.

What’s your top kitchen hack?

I’ve picked up plenty over two decades in the fine dining industry, but one particularly useful tip is to massage some olive oil into your hands before working with foods that stain – particularly beetroot. It lets your hands escape blemish free!

Least favourite industry fad?

There was a phase where deep fried ice cream was popular. It looked great but there was really no point to it and it was a nightmare to prepare. I’m all for imaginative food, but some food fads are style over substance. There can never be a substitute for flavoursome and fresh ingredients, prepared with skill and care.

Any other local businesses you’d like to give a shout out to?

I’m delighted to open the doors at Royal William Yard; it has an amazing atmosphere and there are some really vibrant restaurants, bars, shops and cafes here that are well worth a visit. We are blessed, in Plymouth, to have loads of exciting independent businesses and I hope, as we go into tighter lockdown restrictions in the lead up to Christmas, that people will give them as much support as they can.

Feeling peckish? You’ll find Domea Favour at Unit 6, Royal William Yard,ย  Plymouth PL1 3RP. Alternatively, call ahead on 0734155 3988 or find them online: www.domeafavourchocolate.co.uk