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
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?