For the Love of Chocolate
For the Love of Chocolate

For the Love of Chocolate

The question is— would we really want to live without chocolate?

It is a favorite for most people, and is a popular gift for Valentine’s Day. So what do we really know about the history of chocolate?

I would like to tell you the amazing story of what I discovered recently when I visited Hershey World in Hershey, PA, where the street lights are the shape of Hershey Kisses.

Milton S. Hershey (1857-1945) was a chocolatier, business man, and philanthropist. His first success with candy was when he launched the Lancaster Caramel Company. It was a success and achieved bulk exports. He then sold it.

Using the proceeds from the sale of the caramel company, he purchased land outside of Lancaster, PA, to start a new company which eventually became the city of Hershey, PA, supplying mass produced milk chocolate—the first Hershey bar.

Mr. Hershey experimented with many trials & errors before he was able to perfect the formula that gives us the milk chocolate bar we know and love today.

The first Hershey bars were sold in 1900 and proved so popular that he was able to build his business into a worldwide business. And in World War II Hershey developed a special non-melting chocolate bar for troops serving overseas.

Hershey’s philanthropy started as he built an all-expenses-paid boarding school for local orphans. As of 2016, the school had grown to accommodate up to 2,000 under-privileged students.

A very interesting fact in the Milton Hershey story: In 1912 Mr. & Mrs. Hershey bought passage for the maiden voyage of the Titanic. At the last minute he cancelled the reservation because of some business matters, and later returned to New York on the German liner, the SS Amerika. (Note: The check Milton Hershey wrote to the White Star Line for a first-class stateroom on the Titanic is now located in the archives of the Hershey Story Museum.)

In conclusion: If Mr. Hershey had taken that Titanic voyage, we might never have had the delight of biting into a Hershey milk chocolate bar or Candy Kiss!