If you don’t know Michele Ferrero by name, then you certainly know him by his most famous products, Nutella and Ferrero Rocher chocolates. Born in the Piedmont region, Ferrero showed early signs of entrepreneurial prowess by inventing the Nutella spread in 1964, eighteen years after the company was founded by his father, Pietro, a pastry maker in his own right.
His death on Valentine’s Day, the ultimate chocolate lover’s feat, seems somewhat fitting, allowing him to go out on top on one of the company’s most profitable days. His legacy as a passionate, Catholic-devoted (there’s a Madonna in every Ferrero factory) man is proof that there’s hope for the modern chocolatier, provided he’s willing to roll up his sleeves a little. Indeed, Ferrero put Willy Wonka to shame.