KENTVILLE, NS - There’s no business like the chocolate business.
Kentville residents Kerri and Jeff Goode have been handmaking and wrapping assorted chocolate treats from their home to sell at the Kentville Farmers’ Market since February 2018 and have now decided it’s time to expand out of their kitchen and into their own shop.
“It was a hard decision to make, but we’re all in now,” said Kerri Goode, who focuses more on the chocolate making side of the business, while her husband, Jeff, focuses more on the business and logistics aspects.
In addition to homemade chocolate treats, the shop, called ‘trEats by Kings Chocolates’, will sell hard ice cream and porridge pots, each on a seasonal basis.
The couple is already in the process of renovating their space at 50-B Webster Street, and once complete, with all the necessary permits are in place, they’re hoping to open up shop in early August.
The decision to expand
The decision to expand came from a combination of positive customer feedback, and the realization that a larger, more permanent, space would be needed as production increases.
“We’ve gotten a lot of positive feedback form customers at the market and decided we wanted to start selling in more of a retail atmosphere,” said Goode.
“We currently make everything from our kitchen at home, which means we only have a limited capacity to increase production. So, we came to the decision that, either we’re stuck continuing doing what we’re doing, or we take a leap.”
In addition to the need for more space, Goode added that the need for the chocolate to have its own space was also a large factor in their decision.
“It basically takes over the kitchen, we have to put our life away and get everything ready, then make the chocolate, and then put it all away at the end of the day,” said Goode. “So, it’ll be great to have a separate space dedicated to chocolate making.”
Ice cream and porridge
Goode said she and her husband are realistic and know that in the beginning sales will be low with only selling chocolate alone, so after doing some research, they decided to add more to the menu.
“Everybody likes ice cream,” said Goode. “And it’s something we hope to incorporate our chocolate into as well for toppings.”
In the winter months, the Goodes plan to sell porridge pots, done similarly to the ice cream, with different toppings and flavours like peanut butter, berries, almonds and more, as well as hot chocolate made form real chocolate.
Goode added that the porridge pot idea came from her time spent travelling through her old job.
“The idea came from travelling,” said Goode. “It was one thing I would always grab, it was a quick, tasty, filling option.”
As a small business, the couple says they like to support the other small businesses around them, striving to use local ingredients whenever possible and in season. They hope to source their ice cream from a company in Truro.
“It’s very important to us to use local ingredients,” said Goode. “You want to help other people who are trying to make a go of it, that’s what it boils down to.”
Goode added that on top of helping to support local business like her own, she appreciates the traceability aspect of buying ingredients locally.
“Using strawberries as an example, if I can buy from someone I know, who I know what they’ve put on their strawberries, how they’ve grown them, and so on, I prefer that, it’s the whole traceability aspect of it,” said Goode.
While impossible to source chocolate directly from Canada, the Goodes get their chocolate from a distributor based out of Montreal.
How the chocolate biz began
For the past five years or so, Goode said she’s been trying to figure out what she can do as a change of career to allow her to be at home more, instead of constantly travelling.
After visiting a few chocolate shops abroad, including one in a wine region of Australia similar to the Annapolis Valley, she decided that homemade chocolate was something that the Valley needed.
“There were a few places I’ve been that reminded me of here, very small town feeling, very valley-like, with tourism and wineries, and it seemed like there was always a chocolate shop around as well,” said Goode. “And then coming home it made me think, well, we could have a chocolate shop here too, why not?”
Goode added that she’s come a long way since registering the business and beginning the chocolate making journey in May 2017.
“At the beginning, I was absolutely clueless about it and how much of a science there is into making chocolate, it was way more than I expected,” said Goode. “There’s definitely been a learning curve, and I still feel like I’m learning new things as I go, but that’s part of what makes it so enjoyable.”
Goode added that she and her husband are tremendously grateful for the help and support they’ve received from the Town of Kentville and Office of Regulatory Affairs and Service Effectiveness throughout the process of bringing their storefront business to life.
“The town has been so helpful, with things like letting us know how to get the right permits in place and everything, they’ve been amazing with it all,” said Goode. “…and I can’t say enough good things about Andre MacLean, from the Office of Regulatory Affairs and Service Effectiveness. She’s been fantastic, helping since the beginning and always has exactly the information we need when we need it.”
For more information on Kings Chocolate, visit: