By Evan Henerson
Which came first, the chocolate or the Square? No, it wasn’t the chocolate squares?
Sweet lovers everywhere – and especially in and around the San Francisco Bay Area – can be thankful that Domenico Ghirardelli (1817-1894) of Rapallo, Italy learned the candy making trade at a young age and then took his knowledge to America. He settled first in Stockton, and later opened a confectionery at Kearney and Washington streets in San Francisco. In 1893, the thriving company, bought the Pioneer Woolen Building on San Francisco’s northern waterfront – what the world now knows as Ghirardelli Square.
You can read more about the company here.
The Ghirardelli Chocolate Company has been making its amazing delicacies since 1852 with the main manufactory plant opening in nearby San Leandro in 1967. We can thank the members of the Bakery, Confectionery Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers (BCTGM), Local 125 for helping to create such favorites as the SQUARES, bars, baking chips and the holiday favorite Peppermint Bark.
The company’s deep San Francisco roots make everybody think of Ghirardelli chocolate as a Bay Area staple. Of course, you can also find it in specialty soda fountain and ice cream parlors up and down the state and nationally, as well as in supermarkets.