Milton S. Hershey and his Sweet Dream
All this chocolatey goodness (well, most of it) started with Milton S. Hershey and his great, sweet dream to make chocolate. In 1894, in Lancaster Pennsylvania, this exciting new enterprise "The Hershey Chocolate Company" was born.
At the age of 13, Milton Hershey dropped out of school and professed to his mother his dream and very keen interest in candy. At the tender age of 15, Milton began to apprentice with a master confectioner. Four years after his apprenticeship, he borrowed one hundred and fifty dollars from his aunt, determined to set up his very own shop. His dreams certainly became a reality, a sweet reality that we still savor today!
In 1900, Hershey began producing chocolate in bars and advertised them as " a palatable confection and a most nourishing food". Yes, truer words were never spoken, as to this day Hershey's is so successful that it makes almost 80 million units of chocolate per day! Hershey's production helps to suffice the demand of chocolate worldwide. From 1900 until now, Hershey's is responsible for contributing many delicious chocolate bars to the world! The iconic Hershey Bar
, Mr. Goodbar
, the Krackel Bar
, Hershey's Chocolate Syrup, Hershey's Kisses, Almond Joy
... and so many more!
Even though Milton Hershey was widely successful, he was also noted for his extreme kindness and generosity. You could even say he was inspirational to many. Harry Reese
could attest to this, being a one time employee for Milton Hershey, who left on good terms, claimed that Mr. Hershey inspired him to follow his own dreams of making confections. This in turn became a success story for Harry Reese as well, the maker of Reese's Peanut Butter Cups
. Harry Reese only used Hershey's chocolate in his products, insisting on it's superior quality.
Hershey's is one of the biggest chocolate suppliers in the world, and in 2010 the annual revenue was approximately $5.5 billion. The number of employees working for Hershey's is now more than 14,000. Very impressive as this company started with one young determined boy, and his sweet dreams of chocolate. Hershey's may have started small, but it's growth is certainly amazing. Milton Hershey never let his fascination of chocolate go, and his determination proved strong.
Despite his success in business, his kindness must also be remembered. Hershey was known as a man of the people. Even as his wealth expanded, so did his generosity. Hershey built schools, parks and churches in his community. He even built recreational facilities and housing for his employees. He had a trolley installed for his employees, making it easier for them to come and go to work. During World War Two, Hershey heavily backed the military forces with an ample supply of chocolate bars.
Despite his very prosperous life, he became very saddened by the untimely death of his beloved wife Catherine. He insisted that he carry a picture of her wherever he traveled and always spoke of their great love for one another.
Even as he aged into his eighties, he continued to work on a daily basis as long as he could. He died in Pennsylvania on Oct.13, 1945. His legacy continues, as the Hershey Chocolate Company has endured the test of time. Milton Hershey was not only a lucrative entrepreneur, but a well loved philanthropist. His passion and dreams certainly have added some much needed sweetness to the world.
As Milton Hershey once said, "I'll stake everything on chocolate". Yes Mr. Hershey, some days we all do!