Home Archives December 2006 Dagoba Chocolate sells to Hershey

Dagoba Chocolate sells to Hershey

| Print |  Email
Friday, December 01, 2006
DagobaBarCocoa.jpg

ASHLAND — Candy and snack-food giant Hershey may have gobbled up Southern Oregon’s Dagoba Organic Chocolate, but the company will see few changes, according to founder and CEO Frederick Schilling. Dagoba will stay in Ashland, its 40 employees will keep their jobs, and the 5-year-old company will continue adhering to the socially and environmentally conscious standards that have made it, and its award-winning chocolate, popular around the nation.

Schilling and Hershey representatives declined to provide details on the sale, including how much money changed hands and whether Hershey had guaranteed that Dagoba’s ethical standards would remain a priority. However, Schilling — who also declined to disclose the company’s 2005 sales figures — says promises weren’t needed because Hershey respected how the company operated, whether it was Dagoba’s use of renewable energy in the factory or chocolate-bar wrapping made from recycled paper. “They get us,” he says. “They appreciate what we do.”

The growth of the state’s boutique chocolate companies over the last few years has been both sweet and bitter for those involved: In October, Portland’s Moonstruck Chocolate Company announced it had opened a second café in California, bringing its total number of stores in three states to eight.

On the other hand, Jon Stocking, the now-former owner of Talent’s Endangered Species Chocolate, fought a nasty legal battle last year when he tried to reclaim ownership from Indianapolis business partners who bought a controlling interest in his company. Twenty-five employees lost their jobs when the new owners moved production to the Midwest.

Stocking says the sale of Dagoba was very different from his situation but worried that Oregon is losing one of its distinctive commodities: a locally owned and operated company with a strong philosophical vision.

In a letter to friends after the sale, Schilling described a sometimes torturous decision-making process — he backed out of the sale countless times, including the day that final paperwork was to be signed — which touched on that very issue. But, in the end, he felt there was only one way to follow what he described as his main goal of having an impact on the chocolate industry and it involved selling the company to Hershey.

“It’s up to us as business owners to use the power that we have to make change for the better. We have a responsibility,” he says. “For me, the more growth we have, the more impact we have.”

— Abraham Hyatt

 

More Articles

The short list: 5 hot coffee shops for entrepreneurs

Contributed Blogs
Friday, November 14, 2014

CupojoeBY JESSICA RIDGWAY

Oregon entrepreneurs reveal their favorite caffeine hangouts.


Read more...

Healthcare Perspective

November/December 2014
Wednesday, October 22, 2014
BY KIM MOORE

A conversation with Majd El-Azma, president and CEO of LifeWise Health Plan of Oregon, followed by the Healthcare Powerlist.


Read more...

Revenge Forestry

November/December 2014
Tuesday, October 14, 2014
BY JONATHAN FROCHTZWAJG

A flare-up in the Elliott Forest raises questions about détente in Oregon’s timber wars.


Read more...

The clean fuels opportunity

News
Monday, November 10, 2014
111014-dirtyfuel-thumbBY KIM MOORE | OB RESEARCH EDITOR

A market for low-carbon transportation fuels has a chance to flourish in Oregon if regulators adopt the second phase of the state’s Clean Fuels Program.


Read more...

The Bookseller

November/December 2014
Wednesday, October 22, 2014
BY AMY MILSHTEIN

Everyone knows college is expensive, but a look at the numbers brings that into sharp — and painful — focus.


Read more...

October surprise

News
Sunday, October 12, 2014
roundup-logo-thumb-14BY LINDA BAKER

Cylvia Hayes, tabloid vs. watchdog journalism and the looming threat of a Cascadia earthquake.


Read more...

Shifting Ground

November/December 2014
Wednesday, October 22, 2014
BY JOE ROJAS-BURKE

Bans on genetically modified crops create uncertainty for farmers.


Read more...
Oregon Business magazinetitle-sponsored-links-02
SPONSORED LINKS