Teen turns truffles into cash for African well project

A 14-year-old New Brunswicker is turning chocolate into clean drinking water for people thousands of kilometres away.

Chris Cushing is using money raised from his truffles to fund a well in Tanzania

Chris Cushing, 14, is turning tasty truffles into clean drinking water for Tanzania 1:58

A 14-year-old New Brunswicker is turning chocolate into clean drinking water for people thousands of kilometres away.

Chris Cushing, from Rusagonis, is a truffler. Crafting almost a dozen varieties of truffles with a pair of different chocolate coatings, he's built his own business of hand-making chocolate truffles and selling them online for a special cause.

"They're at $10 a dozen and all of the money goes towards building a well in Tanzania to help people there have clean drinking water," Cushing said.

Cushing takes orders for his 10 varieties of dark and milk chocolate truffles online though social media, as well as on his own website, Truffler.ca.

Chris Cushing and his mother, Angela, make the latest batch of truffles. The money raised from the sales will help build a well in Tanzania. (CBC)

It's a tasty cause and it's also one that he put together himself.

"I started making truffles and selling them in January," Cushing said.

"But I first learned about making them and practising in December."

Cushing learned how to make truffles online. He has since concocted his own recipes through the deliberate and delicious process of trial by error.

When asked what his favourite part was, he was quick to answer, "well, quality control of course."

Since January, the truffle business has exploded, resulting in the rest of the Cushing family coming to his aid.

Both his parents and younger brother, Liam, now help keep up with demand, which has seen more than 1,000 orders — more than 12,000 individual truffles — since the beginning of the year.

"We've raised about half the money needed for the well," said Angela Cushing, his mother.

"We're proud of him."

Chris Cushing decided on funding a well in another country because he wanted to give to others what he thought many people in Canada take for granted.

Once again that specific part of the project lead him online.

"We were just looking to find a website, an organization to that would allow us to put money towards building a well," he said.

Next steps are unknown

The platform he picked was Compassion Canada, a faith-based organization dedicated to the same cause Cushing had.

"It just made sense," he said.

Armed with business cards, an online ordering system and a full-house of recruited trufflers at his back, he is set to fulfill his goal of supplying a well to rural Tanzania a lot sooner then he'd originally thought.

But once that well is paid for the next step is unknown.

"Where it goes from there we don't know," said Aaron Cushing, his father.

"We're just as curious as the next guy. If it grows into something bigger and that's something Chris wants to do then we're glad to support him."