The San Francisco Chronicle reports that Hershey's will shut down the Scharffen Berger plant it acquired when it bought the brand from Scharffen Berger founders John Scharffenberger and the late Robert Steinberg in 2005.
Serious eaters know how I feel about Steinberg, who died last year, and there can be no doubt how Robert would have felt about this. I remember having lunch with him right after the sale had gone through, and he articulated his many concerns about the plans Hershey's had for his beloved chocolate company.
Scharffen Berger's longtime publicist Deborah Kwan weighed in on this topic in the Chronicle story:
"It was home grown. They really changed the way people regarded chocolate in this country. I'm glad Robert is not alive to see this. If the lymphoma hadn't taken him, this would have."
Is there a cautionary tale here? Maybe so, maybe so. In any event, we're about to find out.