I always thought it would be fun to take tours of companies whose products I like. I want to go to the coffee factory at Kicking Horse Pass. I want to go to Cape Cod to see how to make potato chips. I have managed over the last couple of years to see some of the places I like.
We drove back to Toronto yesterday. Our route takes us through the town of Easton, Pennsylvania. Many of you will instantly recognize that as the home of Smith & Binney, makers of Crayola crayons. We decided to stop. It was wonderful. I get the feeling, first of all, that if I somehow ran into a 100-year old box of Crayola crayons, it would look, feel, smell, and taste the same. Some years back, Crayola made its 100-billionth crayon. Mr. Rogers moulded that crayon.
I like Crayola. It is a company that has affected every single one of us, as kids, as parents, and as grandparents. The company's goal is to bring colour into the world. What can be bad with that? As well, they are seeking ways to become greener. Any paper products they use come from their own sustainable tree forest. They are doing a great deal of work with solar power.
On another note, Easton, PA is lovely.
We have also visited the Hershey's factory. Yes....enough said. But there is more. Mr. and Mrs. Hershey had no children. They started a school for orphans as a result, raising many children as their own. The school is still there, with close to 2000 students. Hershey's uses only local ingredients. The company has been certified kosher for over 100 years. One of the original goals of the company was to make chocolate available for everyone, instead of just a luxury of the rich.
Last is the Zippo company. Zippo makes lighters. The Zippo lighter has been of exceedingly high quality. The history of the Zippo is also very much wrapped up in the history of the United States military. A lighter that will not go out is useful for signalling, and has been used as such.
In 1943, the owner of the company noticed a design flaw in the lighter. He shut the company down for several months while he fixed it. He also kept everyone on salary.
These are companies I like and have visited. I hope that there will be others. I would like to see Newman's Own. A company that only has interest in making decent food and donating all profits to charity is worth a visit, and more importantly patronage.
I am going to forage around the house for a Hershey bar now.