At Fog City News in San Francisco, I had the opportunity to taste a couple of Scharffen Berger chocolate varieties new to me, one a not-so-sweet milk chocolate with almonds and sea salt. Hmm, I don’t know.
But I enjoyed asking their cacao sourcer, a life-long botanist, some things I’ve wondered, post-Hershey acquisition:
1) What is life like operationally these days?
In sum, “awesome.” Hershey HQ is largely laissez faire. But Scharffen Berger benefits with access to knowledge from some of the world’s foremost experts in chocolate, cacao, vanilla, sugar, and all those other good things that make up our Halloween candy.
2) Were they still making everything in Berkeley, given their vast distribution?
Pretty much, except for a small operation in the Midwest in a corner of a Hershey factory.
All in all, my warm fuzzies about Scharffen Berger remain.
2/3/09 Update: Boy was I wrong!