Joseph Schmidt Confections
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Joseph Schmidt Confections was a San Francisco-based chocolatier, which produced gourmet confections using imported Belgian chocolate. The line of confections includes large, mini and petit truffles, slicks, and mosaics. Joseph Schmidt confections ceased operations 2009.
Joseph Schmidt Confections was started in 1983 in San Francisco. Joseph Schmidt, a European-trained baker, and his partner, Audrey Ryan, a European-trained confectioner, opened a store selling baked goods and chocolates. Joseph Schmidt's signature egg-shaped truffle was the company's trademark.
In 1985, Joseph and Audrey brought in two partners to grow the business: Jeff Smith, a successful restaurateur and veteran of Nestle, and Duane Papierniak, an engineer. They continued to run the company until 2005, growing the business both nationally and internationally. At different times, Joseph Schmidt products have been available in such department stores as Harrod's and Selfridges in the UK, David Jones Limited in Australia, Takashimaya in Tokyo, and a variety of locations in Canada. North America includes department stores such as Macy's, Bloomingdales, and Saks Fifth Avenue, and gourmet grocery stores such as Whole Foods, Trader Joe's and the Fresh Market, as well as other independent stores.
In November 2005, Joseph Schmidt Confections was purchased by Artisan Confections Company, a Hershey subsidiary, which, had previously purchased Scharffen Berger Chocolate Maker, an artisanal chocolate manufacturer in nearby Berkeley, California. In November 2006 Artisan Confections purchased Dagoba, an Ashland, Oregon-based manufacturer of organic chocolate. Hershey's later began to consolidate the production of Scharffen Berger products in an upgraded factory in Robinson, Illinois. In early 2009 Hershey's announced plans to eliminate the Joseph Schmidt brand. By July 2009 both the production facility and retail store on 16th Street in San Francisco closed, laying off approximately 150 local employees.
- Victoria Colliver (2009-02-10). "Schmidt to stop selling chocolates after Easter". San Francisco Chronicle.
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