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Domenico Ghirardelli is born in Rapallo, Italy, to an exotic foods importer and his wife. At a young age, Domenico is introduced to the chocolate and confectionary trade when he apprentices with a local candy maker. Ghirardelli changes his Italian first name to the Spanish equivalent, Domingo. Ghirardelli sails to America and opens a general store in Stockton, California, offering supplies and confections to miners. Ghirardelli opens a second store on the corner of Broadway and Battery in San Francisco, which becomes his first establishment in the city. At Kearny and Washington streets in San Francisco, Ghirardelli opens a confectionary shop, Ghirardely & Girard, which eventually becomes the modern-day Ghirardelli Chocolate Company. A Ghirardelli employee discovers that by hanging a bag of chocolate mass in a warm room, the cocoa butter drips out, leaving a residue that can be processed into ground chocolate. This is known as the Broma process and produces a more intense chocolate flavor than other techniques. Three of Domingo’s sons become partners in the business, which ships products throughout the West and to the eastern U.S., China, Japan and Mexico. Domingo retires as head of the company, turning over its management to his sons. In 1894 Domingo dies during a trip to Italy. In need of more space, the company buys the Pioneer Woolen Building on San Francisco’s northern waterfront, and manufacturing moves there; this is the present site of Ghirardelli Square. The great San Francisco earthquake and fire of 1906 destroys much of the city, but the Ghirardelli plant is not damaged. Manufacturing operations resume within 10 days after the disaster.Ghirardelli Chocolate Company celebrates its 150th anniversary.