Hershey’s may not have spelled out their reasons for closing the plant to the employees, but the employee guessed that making artisan chocolates was too expensive and labor intensive for a such a large corporation.
“That’s why not one truffle looks like the next, even the special boxes are hand made and decorated,” she said. The truffle boxes are hand dyed on paper maché and individually decorated using the batik technique. “That’s what Joseph Schmidt is known for. A lot of people hold on to their boxes.”
Production costs for artisan chocolates may be high, but Hershey’s had a good 2008. Net sales in 2008 were $5.13 billion dollars, up from $4.9 billion in 2007. Hershey’s 2008 net profit was $311.4 million dollars, a significant increase from 2007’s $214.2 million.
“Working here was a good experience. I’m so sad. It feels like a death in the family,” the employee said.
The above comes from an interesting article on the last few days of the Joseph Schmidt factory in SF. Joseph Schmidt, along with the Berkeley ScharffenBerger plant, is being closed by parent company Hersheys.
People, don't sell your boutique chocolate shops to Hersheys.