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Joseph W. Blommer, who helped build Blommer Chocolate Co. into one of North America’s largest cocoa bean processors and chocolate suppliers, passed away last month at his home in River Hill, Wis. He was 67.
In a career spanning more than 35 years, Blommer, president and CEO, ran the company through a period of sustained growth and change. In 1980, for instance, he was responsible for construction of the company’s East Greenville, Pa., plant, which was the first chocolate factory to be built in the Unites States in many years, and brought high-tech manufacturing closer to Blommer’s largest customers.
Blommer first joined the company founded by his father and uncles following graduation from Georgetown University in 1964. He left after several years to pursue an investment sales career at Smith Barney in Milwaukee, Wis., and returned to the family business in 1976.
In 1992, along with his brother Henry Blommer, he helped the company navigate through a takeover attempt by Cargill, Inc. and a subsequent return to sole family control in 1995.
His son, Rich Blommer, says his dad loved his job and loved making chocolate.
“Everyone who knew him, both in our company and in our industry, held him in such high regard,” he says. “He had an incredibly entrepreneurial mind. He could see his way through any problem we faced and always seemed to know the right thing to do. All of us at Blommer will miss him.”
Joseph Blommer was born April 10, 1942, in Milwaukee. A 1960 graduate of Milwaukee Country Day School, he later graduated from Georgetown University, graduating with a degree in economics.
Best friend and loving husband for 20 years of Karen (nee Kraynick) Blommer. Proud father of Richard (Taffy), Peter, Anne, Michael, and William Blommer. Cherished grandfather of Ally, Maggie and Katie. Dear brother of Henry (Judith) Blommer Jr., Peter (Sally) Blommer and of the late Ann Blommer Drake. Further survived by other relatives and many dear friends.