This article was written by Samuel Phineas Upham
Milton Hershey had a passion for making candy, and completed an apprenticeship to do just that in 1873. After finishing his work, he attempted to open a confectioner’s shop in Philadelphia. He failed within his first six years, and brought his operation to New York. He failed there too, but decided that he might find success if he focused on one kind of candy.
Thus was born the Lancaster Caramel Company, which used fresh milk to help make its caramel. The product was a huge success, but Hershey was not satisfied. He witnessed a demonstration of a chocolate making machine, and was convinced to sell his business for a cool million. He bought himself a chocolate making machine and then relocated to Pennsylvania to try again.
The town he chose was Derry Church Pennsylvania, but you won’t find references today on a map. That’s because Hershey’s operation was so successful it became the pride of the town and they changed its name to Hershey Pennsylvania. Milton founded his factory there because the setting was beautiful, and the cost of living was low. That meant he could pay his workers a generous wage and they would be able to live comfortably.
The famous “Kiss” was introduced in 1907. He originally sold them as chocolate squares, which had to be hand-wrapped. By 1921, Hershey had found a way to automate the process using a machine wrapper. Today, Hershey’s produces more than 80 million Hershey Kisses per day. The company also expanded to include other flavors of candy bar, like Mr. Goodbar with nuts, and a chocolate syrup product.
About the Author: Samuel Phineas Upham is an investor at a family office/hedgefund, where he focuses on special situation illiquid investing. Before this position, Samuel Phineas Upham was working at Morgan Stanley in the Media & Technology group. You may contact Samuel Phineas Upham on his Twitter page.