|Domenico "Domingo" Ghirardelli|
Born in 1817 in Rapallo, Italy, Ghirardelli served as a Genoa confectioner’s apprentice and at a young age developed a strong interest in the business. He left for Uruguay when he was 20 years old, then sailed around Cape Horn to Peru where he became a coffee and chocolate merchant.
1848 - 1849.
James Lick—Ghirardelli’s neighbor in Lima—left for San Francisco in January 1848 taking 600 pounds of Ghirardelli’s chocolate with him. He arrived just thirteen days before the first shiploads of gold-rush pioneers.
|Ghirardelli's general store.|
Lured by his friend’s tales of the gold rush, Ghirardelli joined Lick a year later and opened a general store supplying mustard, coffee, spices and, of course, chocolate.
1852 - 1895.
|Former site of the Pioneer Woolen Mills.|
Between 1852 and 1895, Ghirardelli’s Chocolate Factory was located at four different sites before the Ghirardelli Chocolate Company took over the Pioneer Woolen Mills on North Point Street—today’s site of the Ghirardelli Chocolate Manufactory & Soda Fountain and Ghirardelli Square.
|1960's Ghirardelli Menu.|
In the 1960s the chocolate manufacturing operation was sold and transferred to San Leandro. A group of San Franciscans, fearing Ghirardelli Square might be demolished, purchased the property.
|Ghirardelli Square Layout.|
Unique shops and restaurants were created within the old factory, combining the latest in retailing and fine cuisine with the flavor of old San Francisco. The project officially opened on November 29, 1964.
1982 - Present.
Ghirardelli Square is considered the first successful adaptive re-use project in the country. In 1982 the owners applied for and were granted National Historic Register status, a move that ensured the preservation of Ghirardelli Square for future generations.
Originally a chocolate factory, today Ghirardelli Square delights visitors with its lively retail mix, while maintaining Ghirardelli’s tradition as a trendsetter for the rest of the world.