South Shields chocolatier overwhelmed by support after launching The Canny Chocolate Company during the pandemic

A former cruise ship worker who launched his own chocolate business during the pandemic has been overwhelmed by the support he has had from the community.

By Sam Johnson
Tuesday, 9th February 2021, 10:14 am
Updated Tuesday, 9th February 2021, 12:39 pm
Kevin Reay, founder of The Canny Chocolate Company
Kevin Reay, founder of The Canny Chocolate Company

Kevin Reay, 25, from South Shields launched his chocolatier business, The Canny Chocolate Company, in September 2020, and has been overwhelmed by the rapid rise in popularity of his new venture.

Selling all kinds of chocolate treats, Kevin was inspired to start The Chocolate Company during the pandemic after leaving his job and P&O Cruises shortly before the crisis began.

Despite the difficult economic conditions, Kevin said support for local businesses has been on the rise and he has seen a great deal of support since launching the company from his South Shields home.

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Some of the treats on offer at The Canny Chocolate Company

It comes as the Gazette runs its Support Local campaign, encouraging people to get behind local businesses.

Kevin said: “Chocolate is something that everyone enjoys. I trained with a number of chocolatiers throughout the pandemic, which has been a challenge in itself due to the travel restrictions and Zoom connections.

"In September I launched my store online, and before I knew it I was making 7,000 truffles. I use the finest Belgian chocolate and every individual chocolate and truffle is handcrafted to perfection.

“As well as all of the support from friends and family, the council have been absolutely fantastic in supporting me with advice and assisting me through the necessary legal documentation.

Some of the treats on offer at The Canny Chocolate Company

"Nothing gives me more satisfaction than experimenting in the kitchen with new flavours and recipes. Seeing the business take off has been really overwhelming.”

The Canny Chocolate Company offers a number of different chocolate products, including truffles and Belgian chocolate buttons, as well as a chocolate fountain hire and wedding catering.

After seeing the business take off so quickly, Kevin is hoping to expand and offer even more in the future, with hopes of opening a high street shop to better reach customers.

He added: “Whilst the online store is great, I am hopeful that in the near future I will be able to have a chocolate shop in South Shields where everyone can pop in for a chocolate and a cuppa.”

The Canny Chocolate Company can be found online at and Kevin can be contacted by emailing [email protected] or by calling 07984 890664.

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