Michele Ferrero, Owner Of The Nutella Empire, Died On Valentine's Day

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - AUGUST 18: Jars of Nutella are displayed on a shelf at a market on August 18, 2014 in San Francisco, California. The threat of a Nutella shortage is looming after a March frost in Turkey destroyed nearly 70 percent of the hazelnut crops, the main ingredient in the popular chocolate spread. Turkey is the largest producer of hazelnuts in the world. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
Source: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images News/Getty Images

In the latest edition of "saddest news you'll hear all day," Michele Ferrero, owner of the Nutella empire, passed away on Valentine's Day. That's right; the man who's responsible for the existence of Nutella cupcakes and Nutella cronut holes (those are totally a thing) is no longer with us. Excuse me while I sob into my pillow for this devastating loss.

The "world's richest candy maker," which is a life goal I never knew I had until today, died at age 89 in Monaco, TIME reports. You may also recognize his name from his line of Ferrero Rocher chocolates, although his company produced many other items such as Tic Tacs and Kinder Eggs. Nutella is what the family is most known for after Ferrero's father, Pietro Ferrero, developed it during World War II while cocoa was still being rationed, according to the New York Times. After Pietro died in 1949, the business passed on to Michele, and the rest was history. Delicious, hazelnut-flavored history.

He's survived by his wife, Maria Franca, and one son, Giovanni, who's been CEO since 1997, so at least we know the Nutella empire is in good hands. Wherever Ferrero is now, I hope he's happy knowing how much joy he brought into the lives of foodies everywhere.

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