Home / Online Resources / Encyclopedia / The Hershey Idea

The Hershey Idea

Hershey’s Progressive Weekly, page 10, July 10, 1913
Hershey’s Progressive Weekly, page 10, July 10, 1913

Milton Hershey envisioned building a community in which all the parts were interwoven. He built a model town for the workers of chocolate factory AND the workers in the businesses he established to provide services to make the town an attractive and functional place to live.

His desire to share his approach to business was communicated in recurring articles in the local weekly newspaper, The Hershey Press

For a short while, Milton Hershey even considered publishing a monthly magazine, to be titled, “The Hershey Idea.” Plans for the magazine were laid out in a full page ad that appeared in the Hershey Press.

The magazine promised to “attach the oppressions of dishonest Capitalism and the unjust assaults of Labor upon Capital…” It would include political and economic news in an “absolutely unbiased and judicial manner.” It would also have a short story section.  The advertisement noted that the magazine’s first issue would be published in September 1913.

We don’t know why, but the magazine never materialized.

However, “The Hershey Idea” continued as an important philosophy of how Milton Hershey conducted business.

The 1938 memo outlined Milton Hershey’s vision for his community and how he hoped all the different businesses would recognize that they were part of a larger whole. What is fascinating about the memo today is that it continues to reflect how Milton Hershey’s businesses continue to try to work together for the benefit of consumers and visitors to the town today.

The text of the memo follows:


Visitors coming to Hershey should readily be sold on the HERSHEY IDEA as our facilities and attractions are not to be excelled.

The public and our customers regard all our enterprises as one institution. This places a real responsibility on all enterprises alike because any lack of courtesy or efficiency in any one enterprise almost certainly reflects into every other enterprise in the customers mind and patronage. This applies impressively to customers and residents of Hershey.

This element means greatly accumulated results for good or bad. Any customer lost by one enterprise for any reason of times produces a total loss of patronage for all other enterprises of the whole institution.

We must depend almost entirely for creating the proper atmosphere by real efficient service and the co-operation of all enterprises.

Signed M.S. Hershey

A Neat Folder.
This can be made effective if you will sign and distribute to every clerk in the Hershey Department Store, down the line, including the Hershey National Bank.

Search Encyclopedia