The founder of ‘The Hershey Chocolate Company’, Milton Snavely Hershey is one of the most successful businessmen and entrepreneur who fought many hardships and failures in life before creating a sweet legacy.
Milton Hershey was born on 13th September 1857 in Derry Township, Pennsylvania. As a child living in the rural area of Pennsylvania he was expected to assist the family in farming and other household chores which taught him valuable traits of determination and hard work. His family had to move around a lot because of which Hershey could not receive a proper education after grade 4. During his teenage, Hershey grew tired of travelling and decided to settle in New York and find some permanent work. But the city demanded much more from him; his lack of education was a huge hindrance in his success and by the time he reached his thirties, money became very scarce.
Hershey tried his luck at various jobs however his main interest lay in making candy. Therefore he found work with a confectioner in Lancaster where he remained for four years until he decided to start his own business in 1876. Unfortunately that didn’t work out and Hershey eventually moved to Denver and started working with a confectioner who taught him how to make caramels. Hershey made a second attempt in a candy business that too did not succeed.
In 1886 Hershey founded the Lancaster Caramel Company which was an instant success. This company laid the foundation for his future successful endeavors. In 1893 in the World’s Columbian Exposition, he saw really advanced machinery that made German Chocolate which impressed him so much that he bought for his company. Using the money that he made from selling the Lancaster Caramel Company, Hershey purchased 1200 acres of land which was the perfect location for him as it was surrounded by dairy farms from where he could get huge supplies of fresh milk for his milk chocolate. The first Hershey’s Bar was eaten in 1900. By 1907 Hershey’s Kisses had become very popular followed by the Hershey’s Bar with almonds the next year.
In 1907 Hershey opened a ‘Hershey Park’ that was a home town for his employees that consisted of reasonable public transportation, a proper public school system along with adequate recreational spots. After some time visitors were brought to see the park in trains and trolley cars. The Hershey Park is still home to the Milton’s factory where the smell of fresh chocolate fills the streets. They say the factory is not hard to find; all you have to do is follow your nose.
The chocolate king was also a very generous philanthropist who created the M.S Hershey Foundation that provides the educational benefits and cultural opportunities for those who live in Hershey Park. It funds three other entities of Hershey including the Hershey Gardens, Hershey Museum and the Hershey Theater.
Milton Hershey died in 1945 but his legacy lives on; The Hershey Corporation is a highly successful company that sells its products worldwide.