Ghirardelli Chocolate and Mabel Normand
In almost everything we read about Mabel Normand, we will find a reference to Mabel and chocolate so it isn’t truly surprising to find her in her Suzanna costume on a little card tucked into a Ghirardelli chocolate package in 1923.
Looking for Mabel
Ghirardelli had been in
His neighbor in
The 1849 gold strike brought Ghirardelli to California; he tried mining but soon found himself running a tent-based store in Stockton selling confections and general supplies although his English was not particularly good he ended up in the Sonora area of the Mother Lode, where other Italians from Latin America, the Spanish-speaking, Portuguese-speaking, and French-speaking had gathered at the rivers and mining camps. Ghirardelli found that there was more gold in selling to the miners then mining for gold. He had the tent store in
On daughter (whose father had been French), and the couple's first two children had sailed to San Francisco with 200 lbs of cocoa beans; the D. Ghirardelli & Co was been in continuous operation ever since. Ghirardelli combined chocolate and candy with liquors, ground coffee, and spices (dry mustard) was the focus of his business.
daughter (whose father had been French), and the couple's first two children had sailed to San Francisco with 200 lbs of cocoa beans; the D. Ghirardelli & Co was been in continuous operation ever since. Ghirardelli combined chocolate and candy with liquors, ground coffee, and spices (dry mustard) was the focus of his business.
Ghirardelli served in the Vigilance Committee of 1856 and in 1865 he helped forge ties between
The Ghirardelli Oakland estate was built in 1859, one of the town's first big houses with a garden that took up a square block. He was a donor to the Garibaldi Guard, helping the charismatic guerrilla patriot Giuseppe Garibaldi leader and his "Red Shirt" army in
On the staircase at the estate were figures of Christopher Columbus and George Washington in the garden was a large fig tree. Ghirardelli sent three of his five sons at age ten to be educated at a
The Civil War helped,
It was the Broma process of hanging cocoa beans in bags in a warm room, the cocoa butter dripped out allowing for the creation of coco power that Ghirardelli patented. Anticipating the transcontinental railroad's completion in 1869, the company started producing easy-to-ship, powder that made cocoa powder an American staple.
The whole country was in an economic rescission in 1870 and Ghirardelli like many of companies went bankrupt, during their recovery they dropped all their other product lines only keeping chocolate. In 1872 the store in Hornitos run by Ghirardelli’s stepdaughter, Dominga and her husband. Frank Barbagelata was closed. In 1874 practically everything was sold including the family house and contents, properties in
By 1885 Ghirardelli became an empire, processing almost a half-million pounds of coca beans a year. Ghirardelli was fifty-six with three talented sons; the company name became Ghirardelli and Sons, and got more dynamic in their marketing, they bought new machinery and added to their workforce and started to export to China, Japan, and Mexico, and the western region of the country marketing the coco powder under "Eagle" and introduced streetcar and sidewalk ads on tin and wood for the hot coco to children. Domenico retired to
The next president was Domingo Ghirardelli, Jr., age forty-seven, with siblings Joseph, Louis, Elvira and Angela, who were the part owners of the company. The 1897 business memo written by Domingo, Jr. is a classic “In this country, in this age, there is no such thing as standing still. One must progress, or retrograde. 'Leave well enough alone' means stagnation.”
The Ghirardelli brother purchased the Pioneer Woolen Mill building on
In 1910, he accelerated advertising focusing on the Ghirardelli's hot cocoa's allure for romance and health. The Panama-Pacific International Exposition of 1915, "dream city" on 635 acres celebrating the opening of the
The Clock Tower was added to the factory during this period, it was modeled after the 15th century Chateau
The company's next family president was Alfred Ghirardelli (1884-1956). Alfred's daughter Polly Ghirardelli Lawrence (1921-1997), was the mother of Sydney Lawrence; she published two volumes of interviews for the Bancroft Library's Regional Oral History Office in 1985. Sydney Lawrence continued researching the Ghirardelli family for the Museo Italo-Americano in
In 1922 Mabel Normand was back working for Mack Sennett in
In over the 160 years of Ghirardelli Chocolate Company has become one of the few chocolate companies that controls every aspects of manufacturing, removing the outer shell; roasting; grounding; making the candy and selling it. The company was sold to the Rice-A-Roni (Golden Grain Macaroni) then Quaker Oats and now Lindt & Sprungli. The factory building is now preserved historic landmark.
In the “GHIRARDELLI CHOCOLATE COOKBOOK” by
Domenico Ghirardelli Store, opened in 1856, he went on to become a
chocolate manufacturer in
Chocolate Company purchased the ruins of this general store and put
a plaque on it.
Much of this information comes from Sydney Lawrence, a member of the Ghirardelli family:
Ghirardelli Chocolate Company by Sidney Lawrence, Publication:
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