Chocolat Schoenenberger AG



About 10 miles north of Lucerne lies Rothenberg, a town of maybe 500 occupants. It's in an industrial park on the edge of town that I find the factory and offices of Chocolat Schoenenberger, a supplier of chocolate to bakeries, hotels, restaurants and pharmaceutical companies.

According to the company's website, Schoenenberger was founded in 1977. That's about how old the factory building looks. Things seem to be going well until I walk into the office. I ask the only person in the office (a man) if I can speak to Rene Gautsche, Director of Marketing. I'm told he isn't in. I explain who I am and how I sent a letter of introduction a month earlier to Gautsche (normally I send the letter to the company CEO but they refused to tell me the CEO's name when I called on the phone several months earlier). This man says Gautsche told him about me and that Gautsche wasn't interested in meeting with me. "Why", I ask. The man says, "he doesn't want to talk about the company". With that said, the man walks away. (NOTE, I was so completely caught of guard by this unexpected poor reception that I neglected to obtain the man's name and title).

Wow, why is this chocolate company so inhospitable and secretive? Could the company's owner actually be another chocolate company and they want it kept quiet?