Milton Hershey, founder of Hershey’s chocolate and one of America’s wealthiest and successful entrepreneurs had to file for bankruptcy after starting four candy companies all of which failed due to inadequate funding and too much competition. Hershey’s path to success was more bitter than sweet.
Born in Pennsylvania in 1857, Hershey started his first caramel business in Philadelphia at the young age of 19. After its failure, Hershey with only a 4th grade education, left his hometown with the intention of conquering the world of candy making. After several unsuccessful business ventures in New York, Denver and Chicago that ended in bankruptcy, Milton Hershey finally returned to his native Lancaster County in 1886 and focused his efforts on caramels. He built up the Lancaster Caramel Company which proved to be tremendously successful. After its success, Hershey applied what he knew about caramel to Chocolates. Hershey finally found the right recipe with chocolates and created Hershey’s milk chocolate bar – the cornerstone of what is today the world’s largest chocolate manufacturing plant. Now Hershey’s Food Corporation sells almost $5 billion a year.