Author: Huxleў
© Huxleў — almanac about philosophy, business, art and science.
5 minutes for reading

“Business is a matter of human service”. Leadership rules of Milton Snavely Hershey – the legendary chocolatier after whom the city was named

"Business is a matter of human service". Leadership rules of Milton Snavely Hershey - the legendary chocolatier after whom the city was named
Share material


American entrepreneur and philanthropist who founded the chocolate corporation Hershey, Milton Snavely Hershey was the first among manufacturers to prescribe the then revolutionary, and today – the most ordinary rule of production: “Give them quality. That’s the best advertisement in the world”.

By the way, a well-known quote is also attributed to his authorship: “Do not rock the boat, row it”. Milton Snavely Hershey really preferred meticulous work to idle chatter. That is why it became successful.

Could the American adventurer Henry Hershey, who dreamed of glorifying his family, have imagined that his son, born in 1857, would make his name famous? Unlikely. Henry was looking for himself, wandering from city to city in search of new opportunities, in between times he managed to have a wife and a child, and then went wherever he could, for new adventures.

When his son was 10 years old, he was left completely without a father. His mother, the daughter of the priest Veronica Fanny Snavely, decided that four years of education was enough for her son, and began to raise a real man from Milton – through hard work.


"Business is a matter of human service". Leadership rules of Milton Snavely Hershey - the legendary chocolatier after whom the city was named
Hershey town, circa 1912-1913 /


Since the family belonged to the heirs of Swiss and German immigrants in the United States, the boy first found a job in a print publishing house, where they published a newspaper in German. However, the printing business left him indifferent.

Milton Snavely Hershey’s real delight was when he became an apprentice to a local pastry chef in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. He worked miracles: he cooked caramel and poured intricate figures, whipped ice cream and made delicious sweets from cocoa powder. The student decided to learn everything and immediately began to master the confectionery craft with such zeal that everyone around him no longer doubted that the boy would be useful.


I’ll be a pastry chef, I know I can handle.


Milton Snavely Hershey


As soon as he turned 19, the aspiring pastry chef decided to open his own business in Philadelphia. I chose the pompous name immediately – MS Hershey, Wholesale and Retail Confectioner. The business failed, as the self-confident young man hoped that his skills alone would be enough to conquer the local sweet tooth. But he faced poor sales.


I left the business and began to travel around the world, but idleness did not suit me, so I again fell into the harness.


Milton Snavely Hershey


To sweeten the bitter pill of early beginnings, Milton Snavely Hershey traveled to Denver for a caramel maker class.

Later in New York, he tried to go into the candy business again. He started from the bottom – he cooked candies in a cramped closet and sold them on the streets from stalls. By that time, Veronica’s mother Fanny Snavely discerned the commercial vein of her son and began to help him in trade. But the new business was again unsuccessful, and the family returned to their native Lancaster.


"Business is a matter of human service". Leadership rules of Milton Snavely Hershey - the legendary chocolatier after whom the city was named
Lancaster Caramel Company 1896–1900 /


And then, finally, success awaited him. Hershey’s caramels suddenly found their buyer and, importantly, also an investor. Taste, colors, and especially quality did not leave indifferent fans of Lancaster Caramel Company caramel in other cities of America, where branches were actively opened.

Milton Snavely Hershey managed to make his first million on caramel candies, but did not calm down on it.


Interest in something new wins the calendar.


Milton Snavely Hershey


In 1893, at the World Exhibition of Equipment, he saw a German machine for the production of chocolate and caught fire with a new idea – to sell now chocolate sweets, to popularize them in many countries of the world.

The new equipment was immediately purchased and installed in Lancaster. At first, Milton Snavely Hershey experimented: he prepared cocoa for drinking, chocolate for baking, icing. But a few good examples with candies convinced him of the correctness of his path.


Caramels are only a fad. Chocolate is a permanent thing.


Milton Snavely Hershey


For his company, competitors paid fabulous money at that time – $ 1 million. And Hershey began to create a new story that would glorify his name for centuries in a small chocolate shop.

“I started with ambition and determination to make the best chocolate, which money could make. If you cook it with perfect quality, the time will come when the public will appreciate it and buy it,” said Milton Snavely Hershey. And he was not mistaken.

With quality in mind, the entrepreneur started from scratch to build a modern chocolate factory in the city of his childhood – Derry Township. With its opening in 1905, a new era in the chocolate business began.



"Business is a matter of human service". Leadership rules of Milton Snavely Hershey - the legendary chocolatier after whom the city was named
Hershey Chocolate Factory and Hershey Office. Pennsylvania, circa 1930 /


At his factory, Milton Snavely Hershey produced milk chocolate for the first time in the world, and also invented a form for a confectionery product – chocolate bars. The production of chocolate bars began in 1900. And seven years later, the still popular Hershey’s Kisses appeared.

Hershey has changed his hometown beyond recognition. A bank, a hotel, and churches appeared here. Especially for his employees, the entrepreneur built a tram line, laid out parks and founded a zoo. He built shops and schools. Not surprisingly, a new city named Hershey has appeared on the map.


More than anything, I want to give my employees the opportunity to advance in this world and lend a helping hand to them. Business is a matter of human service.


Milton Snavely Hershey


It was his mission.

Despite the fact that his chocolate became one of the symbols of America, getting into the rations of soldiers, and later astronauts, the pastry chef considered his main merit to be the industrial school he founded in 1909. Without children of his own, the American philanthropist left his entire inheritance of $ 60 million for the needs of an educational institution and orphans.

The humble Milton Snavely Hershey owed his success to his mother for the rest of his life.


When I left home as a child to start earning a living, my mother gave me a good advice – when you begin to work, do it until you master it thoroughly. When I wonder about the chocolate business and its development, I think it’s my mother’s credit. Her advice inspired me and helped me overcome obstacles.


Milton Snavely Hershey



By joining the Huxleў friends club, you support philosophy, science and art
Share material

Spelling error report

The following text will be sent to our editors: