Wilbur Chocolate Company
|Key people||Don Pearson, President|
The Wilbur Chocolate Company is a chocolate manufacturing company located in Lititz, Pennsylvania. It was founded in 1865 by Henry Oscar Wilbur and Samuel Croft. It produces more than 150 million pounds (70 million kg) of chocolate a year, which is sold to major food companies and thousands of small shops.
The company was bought by Cargill in 1992 and is part of that company's cocoa and chocolate labels, which also includes Peter's Chocolate (bought from Nestlé in 2002), Gerkens Cacao, and Toshoku Ltd.
Wilbur Chocolate Factory & Candy Americana Museum
The company's Wilbur Chocolate Factory in Lititz sells an assortment of Wilbur chocolates and other candy, and features the free Candy Americana Museum that tells the history of the company and how their chocolate is made. The exhibits include antique chocolate molds, tins and boxes, as well as hand-painted European and Oriental antique porcelain chocolate pots. The museum was created by Penny Buzzard, wife of former Wilbur president John Buzzard, and opened in 1972.
Its most popular candy, the Wilbur Bud, was introduced in 1893. The Hershey's Kiss which debuted in 1907, closely resembles a Wilbur Bud. The two products are also frequently compared due to the proximity of their manufacturers, Lititz being only about 20 miles (32 km) from the headquarters of The Hershey Company in Hershey, Pennsylvania. Wilbur Buds are not individually wrapped and have the word WILBUR on the bottom of the chocolate.
2008 presidential campaign visit
On March 31, 2008, then Senator Barack Obama visited Wilbur Chocolate Company, drawing it into the national spotlight. President-elect Obama greeted a sizable crowd outside before venturing inside to taste-test various treats offered to the calorie-conscious candidate. The hometown newspaper, the Lititz Record Express, documented his visit with a photo gallery.
- "Timeline - Wilbur Chocolate". Retrieved 2007-12-15.
- "Cargill: Cocoa and Chocolate". Retrieved 2007-12-15.
- http://www.wilburbuds.com/docs/museum.html Candy Americana Museum
- "The History of Wilbur Chocolate". Retrieved 2007-12-15.
- Powell, Michael (2008-04-01). "Tempting Obama on the Trail". The New York Times.