Buffett has frequently praised See’s management and store employees.
“Charlie and I put Chuck Huggins in charge of See’s about five minutes after we bought the company,” he wrote in his 1988 letter. “Upon reviewing his record, you may wonder what took us so long.”
Huggins, whose “love for the customer and the brand permeated the organization,” oversaw a tenfold increase in profits during his 34 years at the company, Buffett wrote in 2005.
“Candy stores are fun to visit, but most have not been fun for their owners,” he told investors in 1987. “From what we can learn, practically no one besides See’s has made significant profits in recent years from the operation of candy shops. Clearly, Chuck’s record at See’s is not due to a rising industry tide. Rather, it is a one-of-a-kind performance.”
While Huggins was evidently instrumental to See’s success, his retirement in 2006 didn’t tank the company. His successor, Brad Kinstler, is “taking the company to new heights,” Buffett wrote in 2011.
Buffett has also cheered See’s customer service.
“Cheerful, helpful personnel are as much a trademark of See’s as is the logo on the box,” he wrote in his 1983 letter.