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Gertrude Hawk Chocolates Sells Ingredients Division, Retains Retail and Fundraising

Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce File Photo

Family-owned chocolate manufacturer Gertrude Hawk Chocolates (GHC) is selling the Ingredients Division of its business to Barry Callebaut.  Barry Callebaut is the world’s leading manufacturer of high-quality chocolate and cocoa products, and has its head office in Zurich, Switzerland.

David Hawk, the board chair, his wife, Annie, and their four children will retain the Gertrude Hawk Chocolates Retail, Fundraising and Traditional Wholesale divisions.  These divisions will continue production from their location in the Keystone Industrial Park in Dunmore.  Drew’s Organics will continue to be owned by GHC.

Barry Callebaut will take over the entire Ingredients Division, including the current manufacturing building and the equipment associated with it, which produces chocolate inclusions for use in ice cream, trail mix and baking products.

Very little will change in both the retail and fundraising divisions at Gertrude Hawk Chocolates once the sale is complete this fall.  A little less than half the workforce will become employees of Barry Callebaut, and the rest will remain with GHC.

Barry Callebaut has a clear vision for the Ingredients Division. Not only are they committed to keeping the current plant location in Keystone Industrial Park, they also foresee that the Ingredients Division will play a cornerstone role in their specialty and decorations business.

“From a community perspective, this is a dream come true,” David Hawk said.  “We have the opportunity to bring a world-renowned, state-of-the-art chocolate manufacturer to the Scranton area.  How often does that happen?”

Gertrude Hawk’s Ice Cream Inclusions Division was developed in 1994 as a way to continue manufacturing products throughout the summer months, which are traditionally slower for the chocolate business.  After overcoming major hurdles in sales and production, the Ingredients Division evolved into a monumental success.  Inclusions are sold to major food companies across the country for use in ice cream, baking and trail mix applications.

The last 23 years at Gertrude Hawk Chocolates have seen expansions and innovations that propelled the Ingredients division to $83 million USD in the last fiscal year, ending in June 2017. Gertrude Hawk was first approached by Barry Callebaut about selling the Ingredients Division two years ago.

“Barry Callebaut wants our Ingredients Division because they have the experience and contacts to continue to partner with ice cream customers and better penetrate the baking industry, a very large industry, but a business we’ve had only limited success with,” Mr. Hawk said.  “Barry Callebaut has at its fingertips everything needed to continue the growth of the business, including a seasoned, highly respected sales force that calls on virtually every baker and ice cream maker of any size around the world.”

Gertrude Hawk Chocolates is a family owned and locally operated chocolate manufacturer based in Dunmore.  Gertrude Jones Hawk founded the company from her Scranton home in 1936 as a fundraising business.  Today it continues in fundraising and has grown to operate more than 50 retail store locations in Pennsylvania, New York and New Jersey. With annual sales of about $6.8 billion in 2015/16, Barry Callebaut is the world’s leading manufacturer of high-quality chocolate and cocoa products.  Based in Zurich, Switzerland, it runs more than 50 production facilities worldwide and employs more than 10,000 people.