Home Back Issues December 2006 Dagoba Chocolate sells to Hershey

Dagoba Chocolate sells to Hershey

| Print |  Email
Archives - December 2006
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

How to add positivity to your team

Contributed Blogs
Friday, September 12, 2014
happy-seo-orlando-clientsBY TOM COX | OB BLOGGER

I often talk about what leaders can do. What about followers? If you’re a team member and you’d like to add positivity to your team, what might you do?


Read more...

Poll Wrap-Up

News
Friday, August 15, 2014

2014 NewPoll-report-newsletterthumbIn this week's poll, we asked readers: "Who should pay for the troubled Cover Oregon website?" Here are the results.


Read more...

Powerlist: Colleges and Universities

September 2014
Wednesday, August 27, 2014
BY KIM MOORE

A conversation about higher education with the presidents of the University of Oregon and Clackamas Community College, followed by September's powerlist.


Read more...

Is this employee right?

Contributed Blogs
Wednesday, August 13, 2014
081314 thumb employeefeelingsBY TOM COX | OB BLOGGER

When I say, “Your Employee is Always Right,” I do not mean “right about the facts,” but rather “right about how they feel” and “right about how they want to be led.”


Read more...

College Hacker

September 2014
Wednesday, August 27, 2014
BY KLINT FINLEY

Treehouse CEO Ryan Carson builds a 21st-century trade school.


Read more...

A Good Leap Forward

September 2014
Wednesday, August 27, 2014
BY AMY MILSHTEIN

Agriculture businesses ramp up to meet international demand as workforce and succession challenges loom.


Read more...

Portland rises

News
Monday, August 18, 2014

IMG 2551Portland is in the middle of another construction boom, with residential and office projects springing up downtown, in the Pearl and Old Town. OB Web Editor Jessica Ridgway documents the new wave.


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