Wilbur Chocolate Company
|Bryan Wurscher, 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.
The cocoa used in Wilbur products is mainly imported from Ivory Coast, whose cocoa industry makes use of child slave labor. When asked to comment on its sourcing practices and the possibility of child labor or forced labor in its supply chain, the company declined to respond and directed questions to the European Cocoa Association.
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.
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.
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.
- "Timeline - Wilbur Chocolate". Retrieved 2007-12-15.
- "Cargill: Cocoa and Chocolate". Retrieved 2007-12-15.
- Raghavan, Sudarsan; Sumana Chatterjee (June 24, 2001). "Slaves feed world's taste for chocolate: Captives common in cocoa farms of Africa". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
- http://www.wilburbuds.com/docs/museum.html Candy Americana Museum
- Powell, Michael (2008-04-01). "Tempting Obama on the Trail". The New York Times.
- "The History of Wilbur Chocolate". Retrieved 2007-12-15.