The Hershey company announced that it will close the Scharffen Berger plant in West-Berkeley as well as the Joseph Schmidt in San Francisco to consolidate production in other facilities.
Hershey acquired both companies in 2005 to set up their premium chocolate subsidiary Artisan Confections. Later they also acquired Dagoba in Ashland, OR, as part of Artisan Confections. The SF Chronicle reports that some 150 jobs will be lost.
I guess that’s what happens when a local producer is sold to a global corporation. Tradition and local roots fall by the wayside.
The company was opened in 2001 after co-founders Robert Steinberd and John Scharffenberger started making their chocolate in San Francisco. As I reported in this blog, Robert Steinberg dies of lymphoma in September last year.
A former public relations consultant for Scharffen Berger is quoted as saying: “I’m glad Robert is not alive to see this. If the lymphoma hadn’t taken him, this would have.”
- On Science, Agriculture and Progress, Part 3
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