The announcement of the Hershey Chocolate factory opening in Smiths Falls in 1962 brought a sense of hope and optimism to the town, with the promise of hundreds of unionized jobs, and attracting other new business and more tourism to the town.
Smiths Falls Water Tower
Grand Opening of Hershey Chocolate Corporation, attended by 3,000, April 17, 1961
The style of the Hershey bar wrapper evolved over the years. The one above was used from 1951 – 1968.
In 1973 the company added nutrition-related information to their labels, and in 1976 they began to print UPC codes on their products.
In 1984 the white inner wrap was replaced with foil., and in 2003 the company switched to a one-piece wrap to maintain freshness.
(source: Hershey Archives)
Post card featuring the Hershey Plant and Visitor’s Center in Smiths Falls – c. 1982
Where the tour of the chocolate factory began…
Chocolate travelling through the line at the Hershey factory in Smiths Falls
Enormous tanks filled with melted chocolate at the Hershey factory
A view of the assembly line at the Hershey factory
Sign at the entrance to the Hershey Factory in Smiths Falls, Ontario
after 46 years
On February 15, 2007, Hershey Co., the parent company, based in Pennsylvania, announced that the factory would be closing as part of a re-structuring. Some jobs would be re-located to Mexico.
More than 650 employees were told that the closure was part of a company-wide supply-chain realignment.
According to local statistics, the enormously popular Chocolate Shop drew 425,000 visitors to the town in 2005.
Union spokesman, Harry Ghadban said, news of the closure was an “absolute shock.”
On December 23, 2008, production stopped, and the Hershey factory, and associated store were shut down.
Ad for Hershey Kisses
The story of the Hershey Factory:
“Sweet Sensation in Smiths Falls”,
one of the short stories in the book, “Lanark County Chronicle”