Bucking the trend

Jens Knoop, a man on a mission.

So many of the big name retailers have fallen by the wayside in recent times, some have vanished from the High Street altogether, others forced to condense their businesses to compete with the online retailers as we, the consumers, continue to change our shopping habits.

There are very few stories circulating which celebrate businesses expanding, but if you look at Rye you would be forgiven for thinking that ‘we’ are the exception as new businesses are beginning to pop up, in and around the High Street.

Last week Rye News featured a story on the Cornish Bakery taking over the former Rye Shoes shop, Hand Made Rugs also featured recently with two new outlets open in Rye and there have been many other good news stories in amongst all the Covid-19 related articles which of course need reporting.

Who would have thought that when Jens Knoop opened his first Knoops chocolate store in Rye in 2013 his expansion plans would explode in such a short period, defying all market forces and including a world wide pandemic but he did it and he hasn’t stopped yet!!

His foresight in starting up in Rye put him on the map, it’s very rare that you don’t see a queue outside his shop, whatever the weather, come rain or shine, the pilgrimage for those seeking to experience Knoopology seems relentless.

A great opportunity for expansion into London paved the way for the second Knoops which opened in Clapham Junction, then Kensington and Chelsea. Not content with this and returning to the south coast, the new Brighton store at 42 Market Street opens on Friday July 16 and in September, returning once again towards London, Knoops opens in Richmond, Surrey. Where next, who knows?

What we do know is that Knoops is a proven recipe for success, a niche market has been realised and the Knoops brand and reputation is spreading like wildfire but it’s also satisfying to know that this seemingly unstoppable success story started here, in little old Rye.

Knoops on Hilders Cliff, where it all started.

Image Credits: Knoops , Nick Forman .


  1. As much as I support Knoops and wish them further success, the photograph supplied to go with the story highlights my irritation. Why the need for those two large advertising signs on the pavement ? Not only are they an eyesore, but they force the queues of Knoops customers to stand and block the pavements, which forces the passerby to constantly step into the road. Disabled people and pensioners have to constantly ask pavement huddlers to move so they can get by. Knoops have a rather idyllic little spot, charming little building, the town direction sign, red letterbox, a bench to sit on. Yet it’s all marred by two large A boards that are nothing but a nuisance.


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