Ghirardelli Chocolate Company

Last updated
The Ghirardelli Chocolate Company
TypeSubsidiary
Founded1852;169 years ago (1852)
San Francisco, California, U.S.
Founder Domenico "Domingo" Ghirardelli
Headquarters San Leandro, California, U.S.
Products Chocolate products
Parent Lindt & Sprüngli
Website https://www.ghirardelli.com/

The Ghirardelli Chocolate Company is an American confectioner, wholly owned by Swiss confectioner Lindt & Sprüngli. The company was founded by and is named after Italian chocolatier Domenico Ghirardelli, [1] who, after working in South America, moved to California. The Ghirardelli Chocolate Company was incorporated in 1852, and is the third-oldest chocolate company in the United States, after Baker's Chocolate and Whitman's.

Contents

History

1864 advertisement from The California Miner's Almanac The California Miner's Almanac - 1864 - Ghirardelli Chocolate.jpg
1864 advertisement from The California Miner's Almanac

Origins

In 1817, Domenico Ghirardelli was born in Rapallo, Italy, to an "exotic foods importer" and his wife. Domenico received his first education in the chocolate trade when he was apprenticed to a local candymaker as a child. By the time he was 20, Ghirardelli had sailed to Uruguay with his wife to work in a chocolate and coffee business. A year later, Ghirardelli moved to Lima, Peru, and opened a confectionery store. In 1847, nine years later, James Lick (Ghirardelli's neighbor) moved to San Francisco, California with 600 pounds of Ghirardelli's chocolate. Ghirardelli remained and continued to operate his store in Peru. [2]

The move to California

In 1849, Ghirardelli received news of the gold strike at Sutter’s Mill and sailed to California. After doing some prospecting, Ghirardelli opened a general store in Stockton, California, offering supplies and confections to fellow miners. Ghirardelli's tent-based store was one of the first shops set up in the area. [2]

Several months later, Ghirardelli opened a second store on the corner of Broadway and Battery in San Francisco, which became, in 1850, his first establishment in that city. [2] [3]

Ghirardelli had a general store in Hornitos, California, between 1856 and 1859 where he perfected his chocolate recipes. The remains of the store can still be seen in town. [4]

Early history in San Francisco

1871 Ghirardelli Advertisement Early Ghirardelli Advertisement.jpg
1871 Ghirardelli Advertisement
A can of chocolate from the 20th century Ghirardelli Chocolate can photographed March 23 2013-8588.jpg
A can of chocolate from the 20th century

A fire on May 3, 1851 [5] destroyed Ghirardelli's San Francisco business, and a few days later, his Stockton store also burned down. However, in September of the same year, Ghirardelli used his remaining assets to open the Cairo Coffee House in San Francisco. This business venture proved unsuccessful, and Ghirardelli opened a new store, named "Ghiardelli & Girard", on the corner of Washington and Kearny Streets in San Francisco. Soon afterward, Ghirardelli was making enough money to send for his family, who were still living in Peru. He changed the company's name to "D. Ghirardelli & Co." and, in 1852, imported 200 pounds of cocoa beans. [2] The company was incorporated in 1852 and has been in continuous operation since. [6]

The next year, in 1853, the business relocated to the corner of Jackson and Mason Streets. By 1855, a larger manufacturing facility was needed, and so the factory was moved to the corner of Greenwich and Powell Streets, while the office remained at the previous location. During this time, the company sold liquor, but dropped their line of alcoholic products sometime after 1871. [7] By 1866, the company was importing 1000 pounds of cocoa seeds a year. By that time, the company not only sold chocolate, but also coffee and spices to the United States, China, Japan, and Mexico. In 1885, the company imported 450,000 pounds of cocoa seeds. [2]

In 1892, Ghirardelli retired as head of the company and was replaced by his three sons. Two years later, on 17 January 1894 Ghirardelli died at the age of 77 in Rapallo, Italy. [2]

1900-present

Ghirardelli Square in San Francisco Ghirardelli Square 1.jpg
Ghirardelli Square in San Francisco

By 1900, Ghirardelli's company was selling only chocolate and mustard, having sold its coffee and spices businesses. Further expansion over the years into different buildings allowed the company to expand into new markets and grow financially. In 1965, San Francisco declared Ghirardelli Square (where many of the Ghirardelli buildings were constructed) an official city landmark. Two years later, production facilities moved to San Leandro, California ( 37°42′40″N122°08′42″W / 37.711°N 122.145°W / 37.711; -122.145 (Ghirardelli Chocolate Factory) Coordinates: 37°42′40″N122°08′42″W / 37.711°N 122.145°W / 37.711; -122.145 (Ghirardelli Chocolate Factory) ). [2]

Ghirardelli Chocolate Shop, San Francisco Ghirardelli Chocolate Shop.jpg
Ghirardelli Chocolate Shop, San Francisco

Since the 1960s Ghirardelli has also moved to focus on a restaurant division by selling ice cream sundaes complete with their famous hot fudge chocolate sauce. In one of their earliest menus from the 1960s they featured five "Nob Hill Sundaes" all named after different landmarks, historical aspects, or local figures from San Francisco (Twin Peaks, Golden Gate Banana Split, Strike it Rich, The Rock, and the Emperor Norton). [8] As of 2019 they now feature over 15 different ice cream sundaes.

In 1963, Ghirardelli Chocolate Company was bought by the Golden Grain Macaroni Company, maker of Rice-A-Roni. Later, in 1986, Quaker Oats bought Golden Grain, and thus Ghirardelli. [9] In 1992, Quaker Oats sold the Ghirardelli Chocolate division to a private investment group. John J. Anton, from that group, became the president and CEO of the newly independent Ghirardelli Chocolate Company. Lindt and Sprüngli, from Switzerland, acquired Ghirardelli Chocolate Company in 1998 as a wholly owned subsidiary of its holding company. [2]

Production

A selection of Ghirardelli chocolates in the Ghirardelli Chocolate Company Shop at Ghirardelli Square in San Francisco, California Ghirardelli Chocolate Shop Inside, SF, CA, jjron 25.03.2012.jpg
A selection of Ghirardelli chocolates in the Ghirardelli Chocolate Company Shop at Ghirardelli Square in San Francisco, California

According to their own website, Ghirardelli is one of the few chocolate companies in the United States to control every aspect of its chocolate manufacturing process, [6] [ self-published source? ] rejecting up to 40% of the cocoa seeds shipped in order to select what the company calls the "highest quality" seeds. The company then roasts the cocoa seeds in-house by removing the outer shell on the seed and roasting the inside of the seed, or the nibs. [10] The chocolate is then ground and refined until the particles are 19  micrometers in size.

Products

Ghirardelli produces several flavors of chocolate. The chocolate is sold in bar form or in miniature squares.

Ghirardelli also sells food service items, like chocolate beverages and flavored sauces, to other retailers. [3]

Issues found

In 2015, an independent laboratory tested over 120 chocolate products for lead and cadmium, and found that 96 of the 127 of them contained lead and/or cadmium above the safety threshold defined by California’s Proposition 65.

Based on these results, As You Sow filed notices with over 20 companies, including Ghirardelli and Trader Joe’s for failing to provide the legally required warning to consumers that their chocolate products contain cadmium or lead, either or both. [11] The suit was settled in 2018. [12]

See also

List of bean-to-bar chocolate manufacturers

Related Research Articles

Chocolate Food produced from the seed of Theobroma cacao

Chocolate is a food product made from roasted and ground cacao pods, that is available as a liquid, solid or paste, on its own or as a flavoring agent in other foods. Cacao has been consumed in some form since at least the Olmec civilization, and the majority of Mesoamerican people - including the Maya and Aztecs - made chocolate beverages.

Cocoa bean Fatty seed of Theobroma cacao which is the basis of chocolate

The cocoa bean or simply cocoa, which is also called the cacao bean or cacao , is the dried and fully fermented seed of Theobroma cacao, from which cocoa solids and cocoa butter can be extracted. Cocoa beans are the basis of chocolate, and Mesoamerican foods including tejate, an indigenous Mexican drink that also includes maize.

Domingo Ghirardelli Italian-American businessman

Domenico "Domingo" Ghirardelli was an Italian-born chocolatier who was the founder of the Ghirardelli Chocolate Company in San Francisco, California.

Lindt Swiss chocolate maker (founded 1845)

Chocoladefabriken Lindt & Sprüngli AG, more commonly known simply as Lindt, is a Swiss chocolatier and confectionery company founded in 1845 and known for its chocolate truffles and chocolate bars, among other sweets. It is based in Kilchberg, where its main factory and museum are located.

Milk chocolate Solid chocolate containing added milk

Milk chocolate is a solid chocolate confectionery containing cocoa, sugar and milk. The most popular form of chocolate in many countries, milk chocolate was originally sold solely as a chocolate bar but is now available in a variety of forms. Major milk chocolate producers include Ferrero, Hershey, Mondelez, Mars and Nestlé. Between them, they are responsible for over half of the chocolate sold worldwide. Although four-fifths of all milk chocolate is sold in the United States and Europe, increasingly large amounts are consumed in China and Latin America. While taste and texture have been key to its success, milk chocolate has also historically been promoted as a healthy food, particularly for children. Recent evidence has shown that it may provide antioxidant health benefits.

Ghirardelli Square United States historic place

Ghirardelli Square is a landmark public square with shops and restaurants and a 5-star hotel in the Marina area of San Francisco, California. A portion of the area was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1982 as Pioneer Woolen Mills and D. Ghirardelli Company.

The Guittard Chocolate Company is an American-based chocolate maker which produces couverture chocolate, using original formulas and traditional French methods. The company is headquartered in Burlingame, California. It is the oldest continuously family-owned chocolate company in the United States, having been family-owned for more than four generations.

Rice-A-Roni

Rice-A-Roni is a pilaf-like boxed food mix that consists of rice, vermicelli pasta, and seasonings. To prepare, the rice and pasta are browned in butter, then water and seasonings are added and simmered until absorbed. It is a product of Quaker Oats Company, currently a subsidiary of PepsiCo.

Mountain View Cemetery (Oakland, California)

The Mountain View Cemetery is a 226-acre (91 ha) rural cemetery in Oakland, Alameda County, California. It was established in 1863 by a group of East Bay pioneers under the California Rural Cemetery Act of 1859. The association they formed still operates the cemetery today. Mountain View was designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, the landscape architect who also designed New York City's Central Park and much of UC Berkeley and Stanford University.

Types of chocolate Range of foods derived from cocoa

Chocolate is a range of foods derived from cocoa (cacao), mixed with fat and finely powdered sugar to produce a solid confectionery. There are several types of chocolate, classified according to the proportion of cocoa used in a particular formulation.

History of chocolate Development of chocolate products and production

The history of chocolate began in Mesoamerica. Fermented beverages made from chocolate date back to 450 BC. The Mexica believed that cacao seeds were the gift of Quetzalcoatl, the god of wisdom, and the seeds once had so much value that they were used as a form of currency. Originally prepared only as a drink, chocolate was served as a bitter liquid, mixed with spices or corn puree. It was believed to be an aphrodisiac and to give the drinker strength. Today, such drinks are also known as "Chilate" and are made by locals in the south of Mexico and the north triangle of Central America . After its arrival to Europe in the sixteenth century, sugar was added to it and it became popular throughout society, first among the ruling classes and then among the common people. In the 20th century, chocolate was considered essential in the rations of United States soldiers during war.

Gourmet Ghetto

The Gourmet Ghetto was a colloquial name for the business district of the North Berkeley neighborhood in the city of Berkeley, California, known as the birthplace of California cuisine. Other developments that can be traced to this neighborhood include specialty coffee, the farm-to-table and local food movements, the rise to popularity in the U.S. of chocolate truffles and baguettes, the popularization of the premium restaurant designed around an open kitchen, and the California pizza made with local produce. The business district, also known as Gourmet Gulch, is sometimes more formally referred to as "North Shattuck." After coalescing in the mid-1970s as a culinary destination, the neighborhood received its "Gourmet Ghetto" nickname in the late 1970s from comedian Darryl Henriques. Early, founding influences were Peet's Coffee, Chez Panisse and the Cheese Board Collective. Alice Medrich began her chain of Cocolat chocolate stores there.

Vincent DeDomenico

Vincent Michael "Vince" DeDomenico, Sr. was an American entrepreneur, one of the inventors of Rice-A-Roni, and a founder of the Napa Valley Wine Train.

Robert Wayne Steinberg was an American physician who co-founded Scharffen Berger Chocolate Maker in 1996 with John Scharffenberger, his friend and former patient.

The Magic Pan

The Magic Pan is a small American chain of fast-food and take-away creperies using the recipes of a now-closed chain of full-service restaurants that specialized in crêpes, popular in the early 1970s through early 1990s, which peaked at 110 Magic Pan locations throughout the United States and Canada.

Jack & Jasons Pancakes & Waffles

Jack & Jason's Pancakes & Waffles is an independently owned and operated artisan foods company based out of San Francisco. The pancake and waffle mixes produced out of their Dogpatch facility are made entirely of all-natural, organic ingredients. The company is also a staunch proponent of the American economic recovery movement, working exclusively with domestic farmers and distributors and focusing significantly on job creation for local residents.

Jackson Street (San Francisco)

Jackson Street is a street in San Francisco, California, running through the Pacific Heights, Nob Hill, Chinatown and Jackson Square districts of the city. It runs between Pacific Avenue and Washington Street, beginning at Arguello Boulevard to the south of the Presidio Golf Course and ending at Drumm Street, to the west of Pier 3, near Sydney G. Walton Square.

San Francisco Fire of 1851

The San Francisco Fire of 1851 was a catastrophic conflagration that destroyed as much as three-quarters of San Francisco, California.

San Leandro Tech Campus

The San Leandro Tech Campus is a business park being constructed by Westlake Development Partners LLC in downtown San Leandro, California, near the San Leandro BART station. Construction of Phase 1 of the project began in 2014, and was completed in 2016. The primary tenant of the first phase of construction is OSIsoft, a software company based in San Leandro. Phase 2 of the project is expected to be completed in 2019 with Ghirardelli Chocolate Company as the lead tenant.

The chocolate industry in the Philippines developed after introducing the cocoa tree into Philippine agriculture. The growing of cacao or cocoa boasts a long history stretching from the colonial times. Originating from Mesoamerican forests, cacao was first introduced by the Spanish colonizers four centuries ago. Since then the Philippine cocoa industry has been the primary producer of cocoa beans in the Southeast Asia. There are many areas of production of cacao in the Philippines, owing to soil and climate. The chocolate industry is currently on a small to medium scale.

References

  1. Woodward, A (2011). International Directory of Company Histories. St. James Press. pp. 218–222.
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 "The Ghirardelli Story — A Rich Heritage". Ghirardelli Chocolate. Archived from the original on 2009-01-20. Retrieved 2008-09-09.
  3. 1 2 "Foodservice". Ghirardelli Chocolate. Retrieved 2008-09-09.
  4. "Hornitos California".
  5. Paddison, Joshua (2003). "Capturing California". California History. 81 (3/4): 126–136. doi:10.2307/25161702. JSTOR   25161702.
  6. 1 2 "About Ghirardelli". Ghirardelli Chocolate. Retrieved 2008-09-09.
  7. Langley, Henry G., The San Francisco Directory, D. Hicks & Co., 1871. Advertisement pp. 19.
  8. John Lumea, "The Emperor Norton Sundae: Vintage Ghirardelli Menus Edition", The Emperor Norton Trust, May 23, 2016.
  9. Sherrod, Pamela. "QUAKER OATS TO PURCHASE GOLDEN GRAIN". chicagotribune.com. Retrieved 2020-06-19.
  10. "The Ghirardelli Difference". Ghirardelli Chocolate. Archived from the original on 2008-07-24. Retrieved 2008-09-09.
  11. list of toxic chocolate
  12. confectionerynews.com. "Mars, Hershey and others settle heavy metal chocolate lawsuit". confectionerynews.com. Retrieved 2019-10-29.