Scharffen Berger factory closing

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Dammit. The Sharffen Berger factory in Berkeley is being shut down by new owner Hershey, with all production being moved to another facility. Scharffen Berger, our much-beloved local chocolatier, has been operating in Berkeley since 1996.

B told me about Scharffen Berger's free factory tours the first time we had dinner. Her description of chocolate dust really spoke to my inner 12 year old, and I ended up visiting myself a few weeks later, as part of a company field trip. Boy, was it cool. I'm still far from a chocolate snob, but it makes a big difference, understanding some of the hows and whys. I've taken the tour again with my family, and it was just as fun the second time. I wish I could do it one more time, but it looks like tours have been halted, to prepare for the April 3 shutdown.

Most frustratingly, according to the East Bay Express, the shutdown may not be directly linked to the economy; Hershey's Q4 earnings were 52% year over year, and the company projects 3% growth in 2009.

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