Published: 00:01, 22 August 2014 |
The body of Malcolm Collett, who ran Beach Dog Bakery on the Chislet business park in Canterbury, was disovered in Clowes Woods, Whitstable.
It emerged the 54-year-old had been missing for 12 days before he is thought to have taken his own life.
His widow Brenda, who ran the bakery with her husband, broke the tragic news on its Facebook page.
She wrote: "It is with sadness and regret that I have to inform you that Malcolm died suddenly.
"I have no further details at the moment. I hope he is now at peace.
"Beach Dog Bakery is still open as he would have wanted but I would ask you to bear with us at this difficult time. Thank you for your understanding."
The post sparked an outpouring of grief from friends of Mr Collett and customers of the bakery, which specialises in natural dog treats.
Graeme Moore posted: "We shall remember Malcolm as a very passionate man, who cared about animals, their food and their well-being.
"We really looked forward to seeing him at West Malling Farmers Market.
"Our dogs adored him and our thoughts are with you all as you come to terms with his passing."
Harriet Burgham added: "What a lovely man Malcolm was.
"We were touched by his generosity and the genuine interest he took in our dogs.
"His presence at the local farmers market will be very sadly missed."
Marina Margiotta wrote: "Very sad news. I will miss trading alongside him at West Malling Chislehurst & Penshurst.
"He was very kind to me, Mike & our daughter Michelle. We had a lot of laughs & have lovely memories of him. Our thoughts are with you."
Mrs Collett thanked well-wishers for their tributes, adding: "I would like to thank everyone who has sent messages and cards to myself and my family since Malcolm’s death, your kind thoughts and words have been greatly appreciated.
"Malcolm had suffered mental health issues for many years and sadly took his own life, something we are trying to come to terms with."
Mr Collett's funeral will be held at Barham Crematorium at 1.20pm on Wednesday.
Mrs Collett said donations can be made to one of her husband's favourite charities, South East London Search and Rescue, which trains dogs to pick up the scent left by missing people.
Mr Collett's death is not being treated as suspicious. An inquest has been been opened and adjourned.
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