Ghirardelli's Chocolate Factory, 1853-1893
Ghirardelli's Chocolate Factory was originally built in 1850 on the corner of Broadway and Battery, but burned down in a fire a year later. By 1853 Ghiradelli was able to reopen the Chocolate Factory at this location, on the corner of Jackson and Mason Streets. The company diversified from chocolate and began to sell coffee and spices in the US, China, Japan, and Mexico. Ghiradelli retired in 1892 and his three sons took control of the business.
Backstory and Context
That building is now part of Ghirardelli Square. Although the company no longer makes chocolate in the square, production is now based in San Leandro, it is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and features a retail outlet. Meanwhile, the story of this historic building,one of the oldest in the city, is largely unknown even to longtime residents of San Francisco.