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

Chronicling Gov. Kitzhaber's march to resignation

The Latest
Wednesday, February 11, 2015
021115-kitzhaber-jekaplan14-thumbBY JACOB PALMER | OB DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR

Recapping a wild week featuring plenty of will he or won't he resign drama.


Read more...

100 Best: The Power of the Worker

March 2015
Wednesday, February 25, 2015
BY KIM MOORE | OB RESEARCH EDITOR
AND AMY MILSHTEIN | OB CONTRIBUTOR

Technology is empowering people like never before and transforming how employees interact in the workplace. How can companies attract and keep staff engaged in this rapidly changing world?


Read more...

Tweeting Portland's State of the City address

News
Friday, January 30, 2015
Screen Shot 2015-01-30 at 3.08.19 PMBY JACOB PALMER | OB DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR

For those who were working, here are a few highlights of Charlie Hales' State of the City address.


Read more...

Finding a Balance

Contributed Blogs
Thursday, January 29, 2015
012915-passinvst-thumbBY JASON NORRIS | OB GUEST BLOGGER

Active vs. passive investing: what you need to know.


Read more...

Game On

March 2015
Wednesday, February 25, 2015
BY LINDA BAKER | OB EDITOR

The big news at Oregon Business is we’re getting a ping pong table. After reading the descriptions of the 2015 100 Best Companies to Work For in Oregon, a disproportionate number of which feature table tennis in the office, I decided it was time to bring our own workplace into the 21st century. It was a tough call, but it’s lonely at the top, and someone has to make the hard decisions.


Read more...

Nuclear fingerprints

March 2015
Tuesday, February 24, 2015
BY LINDA BAKER | OB EDITOR

At Oregon State University, a 21st century version of the bad dream — nuclear terrorism — is alive and well. This winter, the Department of Nuclear Physics and Radiation Health Physics created a new interdisciplinary graduate emphasis in nuclear forensics, a Sherlock Holmes-sounding program that aims to identify how and where confiscated nuclear and radiological materials were created.


Read more...

How Oregon will survive the loss of Hanjin

March 2015
Friday, February 20, 2015
BY JOE CORTRIGHT | OB CONTRIBUTOR

"Shipping containers to Portland is like waiting for a bus that travels once a day."


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