This week’s Barbary Coast column is about the demise of the beloved San Francisco chocolate company Joseph Schmidt Confections. The producer of gourmet bonbons was bought by Hershey, which struggled to make the brand a national success and ultimately shuttered the operation this year, costing 150 people their jobs. Joseph Schmidt chocolates were also memorable because of their unique shapes. “The chocolates were huge, and very colourful with interesting flavours, and great presentation,” said the famed London chocolatier Chantal Coady in an e-mail. “They certainly made a big impression and I am sure they will leave a huge a hole for all the fans.”
They certainly made an impression on me. Just before Joseph Schmidt closed, I bought a half-dozen of the remaining San Francisco-themed boxes. I carefully stored them and gave them as gifts to out-of-town family and friends this week — an attempt to hold on to a tradition for one last holiday.