Even as Hershey's profits are up 51%, the chocolate giant has decided to close down two local manufacturing plants, Scharffen Berger and Joseph Schmidt, part of their Artisan Confections Co, and consolidate production at out of state facilities. This comes as quite a blow to local chocolate aficionados. Although Hershey already makes the majority of its Scharffen Berger products in its newly upgraded plant in Robinson, Ill, the plant closures will affect about 150 employees from both facilities.
A Hershey spokesman said "We will continue to source the world's best cacao to create our rich and distinct chocolate. We will maintain the highest quality standard for all our artisan productions." This did not provide me and many other fans of the high quality chocolate feel any better. Both brands have created a strong legacy and helped increased the popularity of high-end, gourmet chocolates around the country.