Hershey Shuts Down Scharffen Berger Plant in Berkeley, CA
Hershey, which bought Scharffen Berger in 2005, is shutting down its West Berkeley manufacturing plant, reports the SF Chronicle. Hershey already makes the majority of its Scharffen Berger products in Robinson, Illinois, and is going to shift the entire operation there. Says the Chronicle:
Scharffen Berger was founded in 1996 by Robert Steinberg, a family-practice physician in San Francisco, and a former patient, winemaker John Scharffenberger. They experimented in Steinberg's kitchen, using everything from a mortar and pestle to a hair dryer to create their chocolate. Production started in a South San Francisco plant but was moved to the larger, 27,000-square-foot Berkeley factory in 2001.
Steinberg passed away in September after battling lymphoma. Deborah Kwan, a public relations consultant for the company from the time it opened until 2003, said: "I'm glad Robert is not alive to see this. If the lymphoma hadn't taken him, this would have."