At the end of last month, Hershey announced plans to close the two Bay Area plants where both Scharffen Berger and Joseph Schmidt are produced. However, it assured customers that it would continue production of both brands and "maintain the highest quality standard for all artisan productions." A mere two weeks later — right before Valentine's Day, no less — Hershey seems to have had a change of heart: In a letter to customers, Joseph Schmidt confections tells customers that Easter will be its final season, and all remaining stock will be sold through June 30.
Based on its track record, this news doesn't surprise me. I was skeptical of the company's promise to keep the artisan brand's standards in the first place. It does sadden me, though. Do you think chocolate has taken a turn for the worse?