Introduction The Chocolate The Village The People Resouces

 


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CORPORATE OWNERSHIP



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Ownership of Baker's Chocolate
John Hannon
James Baker
Sidney Williams
Henry Pierce
Corporate Owners
In 1895 Henry Pierce officially incorporated the company as Walter Baker & Company, Ltd. After one hundred and fifteen years Pierce said, “The die is cast. Walter Baker & Company [is] now a corporate body. They say corporations have no souls, but they outlive men, and I have done what I think best for the business and for everyone.” J. Frank Howland was quickly elected as first president, and long-time company manager H. Clifford Gallagher as vice president. Gallagher then became president the following year.

After forty-two years of leading Baker’s, Henry Pierce died on December 17, 1896. One year later the Baker’s business and property were bought by a conglomerate of
Boston capitalists, informally called the “Forbes Syndicate.” John Malcolm Forbes,
a high-powered Boston businessman, headed the group that purchased Baker’s
for 10,000 shares at $475 each, for a total of $4.75 million. The syndicate implemented new technology, such as new cooling systems and air conditioning, and electric and gasoline powered delivery trucks. Baker’s advertising, marketing, and promotions expanded; new mills were built, including the Ware, Preston, and Forbes Mills; and a new production facility was created in Montreal, Canada, in 1911.

 

 

In 1927 Postum Cereal Company acquired Baker’s from the Forbes Syndicate for approximately $11 million. Baker’s chocolate became one of several food brands owned by Postum, in addition to Jell-O gelatin and Maxwell House coffee. Restructured as a product division rather than a separate company, Baker’s continued to survive through a variety of company changes, including Postum’s name change to General Foods in 1929, and the 1965 move of the Baker’s production facility from Dorchester to Dover, Delaware. Philip Morris Companies acquired General Foods in 1985, and Kraft, Inc. in 1988. Phillip Morris merged the two to form Kraft General Foods in 1989 and then renamed the company Kraft Foods in 1995. Today, Baker’s remains a division of Kraft Foods and, after many years of production in Dover, Delaware, Baker's Chocolate is produced for Kraft Foods by a co-manufacturer at a facility in Quebec.