One Sweet Shop
Known for its award-winning, high-quality work, Hershey Printing Services is expanding its wide-format capabilities to provide more of the posters, wall murals and vehicle wraps the chocolate company craves.August 2013 By Bob Neubauer
You can't avoid chocolate in Hershey, Pa. Even the streetlights are shaped like Hershey's Kisses in this erstwhile company town about 14 miles east of Harrisburg. Named for local hero Milton S. Hershey, who opened his chocolate factory there in 1904, the town grew up around chocolate, flourishing thanks to Milton Hershey's passionate investment in the community.
That same sense of community permeates The Hershey Co. today, inspiring its strong support of its homegrown Printing Services operation. The 20-employee in-plant, in turn, is fully dedicated to the chocolate company's success.
"We know our customer better than anyone. Everyone in this department is fully invested in the success of the company," remarks Printing Services Manager Bob Wamsher, who has spent every one of his 45 working years with Hershey.
The in-plant, known for the award-winning quality of its high-end printing, is tucked into a 24,000-square-foot space in the lower level of Hershey's administrative offices, right on East Chocolate Avenue in the center of Hershey. With a five-color Shinohara press, a roomful of digital printers and a bevy of wide-format devices, Printing Services is ready for anything the chocolate company throws its way.
"Sometimes we have people from the company that come into the shop, and they're just awed by what we do," remarks Wamsher.
Though Wamsher sees the in-plant moving more toward a print-on-demand model in the years ahead, the five-color press is still the operation's workhorse, pumping out runs of 10,000 slick sales brochures, to be used by sales reps out in the field. A new Graphic Wizard UV coater provides a glossy finish to really make these sales materials shine.
The shop's handiwork is also seen by the public. Stores display its coupons, posters and window clings; local gas pumps sport signs printed by the in-plant; cards promoting new products are slipped into cases of candy; and all around town, company cars decorated with vehicle wraps printed by the in-plant can be seen. The in-plant even prints special orders of personalized candy bar wrappers.
Less flashy materials like manuals, reports and business cards are also handled by the in-plant, using its digital printers. The shop provides other services too, like design, sign engraving, CD/DVD reproduction and, of course, bindery.