The Norfolk creator of a New York-inspired sauce is enjoying sweet success after getting stocked in restaurants and wholesalers across the country.

Rob Dale, 50, from Tivetshall St Margaret, near Diss, launched Hot Star Honey in 2019 and the business has gone from strength to strength.

The chilli honey sauce has a sweet heat flavour and can be used for drizzling over pizzas, chicken and stir-frys.

He said: "I had seen that hot honey had become a big trend in New York and I could see it happening in the UK."

His product is now stocked in independent pizzerias, wholesalers and small chains nationwide, such as Pizza 1889 in Bristol, London and Cambridge and at Italian wholesalers Salvo.

He has also recently enjoyed a boost to business through going to food and drink shows.

He added: "We went to the Eat and Drink Festival at the Ideal Home Show at Olympia London in November and over five days we sold more than 1,000 bottles.

"We were absolutely mobbed and I couldn't believe it.

"Bottles are now going out in pallet fulls and the orders really started to increase after The European Pizza and Pasta Show in London in October."

The latter was a trade show and it has led to even more pizza restaurants stocking the sauce and Mr Dale also launched a hotter Scotch Bonnet version there.

Hot Star Honey was also highly commended in the new ingredient category at the PAPA (Pizza and Pasta Association) Awards in early November, beating pizza giants including Pizza Hut and Papa John's Pizza.

Mr Dale, who has a background in farming, had previously launched food company Bala Chang in 2017, selling a range of sweet chilli sauces inspired by his travels in Asia.

He has now scaled back Bala Chang due to the success of Hot Star Honey, with plans to tour food and drink festivals around the UK in 2022.

Mr Dale added: "I was at the Eat and Drink Show and I was talking to Edinburgh Gin who said they grew the brand by doing a big roadshow of food and drink festivals."

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