Thursday, May 5, 2011

Weelky Awesome Person

I have decided, like a friend of mine, to honor one person a week that I think is or was (death does not disqualify you) an awesome person. My friend has the coolest ideas.

This week I want to honor Milton Hershey (1857 - 1945), the creator of Hershey's milk chocolate.

Now that fact that he created one of my favorite fatties (see previous blog) is enough reason to honor him, but I have a better reason (one with substance). Milton Hershey suceeded at building his chocolate empire after utterly failing as a confectioner, not once, but twice. So Milton I honor you for your PERSEVERANCE.

It all began after years of struggling and failure in school, So his parents decided to apprentice to a printer at the age of 14. This too was a utter failure. He then was able to secure another apprenticeship as a confectioner. After learning this trade that he loved, he decdided to open his own confectioner's shop. He borrowed money from his uncles and set up shop. He struggled in vain to make a profit, and ultimately his business failed.

He thought that maybe he needed a change of scenery, and so he left his home in Pennsylvania and moved to New York. With more borrowed money from his uncles he set up shop again, and struggled and failed again. His parents told him to give up and come home; he could always work on one of his uncle's farms. Milton persisted, though and went to Denver, Colorado where he worked for a time at a large candy factory.

After his Colorado experience, he decided that what he needed to do was specialize in one type of candy so as to maximize his profits. He moved back home and went to see his uncles. They, however, told him they would give him no more money and to give up his dream. Undeterred, Milton convinced a local banker to give him a 90-day loan. He was on his way. He was going to build his caramel empire (that's right I said CARAMEL - not chocolate).

Milton worked hard and specialized in his caramels (which he had learned to make so well while in Colorado - I knew I liked Colorado.) He built a hugely successful business that he later sold in 1900 for $1,000,000 to the American Caramel Co. $1,000,000 back then was a vast fortune! He was set for life and could retire and travel the world. He decided, however, to start a new company and a town along with it: Hershey, Pennsylvania - where he built a giant chocolate company that makes the best chocolates in the USA and maybe the world!

Thanks for persevering Milton - the world is a yummier place because of you!

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