Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Philippe Suchard (1797-1884) and chocolate

Philippe Suchard is credited with being the creator of the image of Swiss chocolate. He began his career as an apprentice confectioner in his brother’s confiserie in Bern.

He had first encountered chocolate when his ailing mother sent him to an apothecary in Neuchatel, Switzerland to secure a pound of that product to incorporate into a tonic she was taking to improve her health.

In 1825, Suchard opened his first confectionery shop in Neuch√Ętel, Switzerland. He produced between 25 to 30 kilograms of chocolate bars each day with the help of a single assistant.

Suchard designed his own chocolate-making equipment and harnessed water power to drive the machines.

A year later he moved into empty mill nearby Serrieres and there built his own chocolate factory. Suchard pioneered the building of houses for his workers and in 1846 he established Alpine village for Swiss immigrants to the USA.

When the railway reached Serrieres in 1860, his business was given a substantial boost.

Suchard seized his country’s comparative advantage in making chocolate: Switzerland had abundant milk, so the raw material was cheap.

In 1878 Suchard applied for his British trademark for Chocolat Suisses. The Suchard company and Swiss chocolat maker Tobler merged on 1970 and 1992 the firm merged again with coffee-maker Jacobs.

In 1993, Jacobs Suchard company was acquired by Kraft General Foods International.
Philippe Suchard (1797-1884) and chocolate 

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