Ghirardelli Chocolate Company


Ghirardelli Chocolate Company is a manufacturer and marketer of premium chocolate products. The company started in San Francisco more than 160 years ago, making it America’s oldest continuously operating chocolate manufacturer. Ghirardelli’s experience, passion and commitment results in a delicious legacy you can taste with every bite of its premium chocolate products.

Ghirardelli is involved in the chocolate-making process from bean selection to finished product. Products include its signature SQUARES™ chocolate, Intense Dark, Prestige chocolate bars, other chocolate confections, baking chocolate and powder, and chocolate beverages. Ghirardelli also sells industrial products for the confectionery, bakery, dairy and food service industries. Ghirardelli products are manufactured in San Leandro, Calif.

Ghirardelli has complete control of the production chain: from Bean to Premium Chocolate. We are one of the few chocolate companies to have control over every step of the production chain, from the selection of the finest cocoa varieties through to the finished product. This is one of the most fundamental elements of a sustainable and traceable cocoa bean supply chain and to ensure it meets our standards, we’ve implemented our own sustainable sourcing model via our corporate cocoa bean Farming Program.

In 2011 Ghirardelli became the No. 2 baking brand in the US. The Harris Poll, which measures the strength of brands in several categories, selected Ghirardelli as the Premium Chocolate Brand of the Year in 2012 (the first year premium chocolate was tracked in the poll), 2013, 2014 and 2015.

Ghirardelli was one of the first companies to include specific cacao content on its labels in order to help people find the perfect chocolate for their taste. Ghirardelli was the first chocolate company to launch stand up bags, an easy way for people to choose and enjoy chocolate. One of the company’s more recent innovations is mini chocolates, a shareable, on-the-go treat that debuted in 2014. Ghirardelli operates 25 chocolate retail shops across the country, including its flagship Ice Cream & Chocolate Shop at Ghirardelli Square in San Francisco.

Incorporated in 1852, Ghirardelli began with founder Domingo Ghirardelli selling chocolates and other luxury products to California’s gold miners. Over time, Ghirardelli expanded, eventually developing an entire city block that is now recognized as a San Francisco landmark. Ghirardelli gives back to the community that helped it prosper, including to organizations involved in helping children and families.

Ghirardelli’s CEO is Martin Thompson.

Company Details

Locations: San Leandro, CA


Founded: 1852

U.S. Employees: 1,450

Exports to Other Countries: Yes

Joel Burrows - CEO Ghirardelli
Joel Burrows, President and CEO
NCA Board of Trustees

Company Products

Ghirardelli is known for premium chocolate products such as Squares of various flavors and baking chocolate.