The Guittard Chocolate Company
THE GUITTARD CHOCOLATE COMPANY HISTORY BOOK
The Guittard story begins in the mid 1800s, when Etienne Guittard ventured from Tournus, France to the Barbary Coast in hopes of striking it rich during the California Gold Rush. He brought delicious chocolate from his uncle's factory to trade for mining supplies but soon discovered that wealthy miners were willing to pay a premium for his treat. Armed with the knowledge that there was another kind of "gold", he sailed back to France to finesse his craft and in 1868 returned to San Francisco and opened Guittard Chocolate on Sansome Street. In addition to chocolate, Etienne also sold coffee, tea and spices.
Etienne guided the company for 31 years. Although he started from scratch with only a few bags of cocoa beans, by the time of his death in 1899, Guittard Chocolate was an established enterprise with an integral role in the growth of the business community of San Francisco.
REBUILDING AFTER THE GREAT 1906 EARTHQUAKE
Etienne's son, Horace C. Guittard, was in charge when the 1906 earthquake destroyed much of San Francisco, including the factory on Sansome. The Brandenstein's from MJB Coffee help them get back on their feet. After a brief stint on Commercial Street, Guittard moved to Main Street, and focused manufacturing solely on chocolate.
THE FOURTH GENERATION
Fast forward to 1975 when Gary joins the family firm in 1975, working side-by-side with his brother Jay, who oversaw the wholesale business and his father Horace A. Jay assumes the presidency in the mid-80s. In 1989, due to the untimely deaths of his father and brother, Gary began running the company with his family of employees, many of whom had been there for 20+ years and remain at his side to this day.
A SUSTAINABLE FUTURE
Guittard's craft is as much about making beautifully tasting chocolate as it is about supporting the people and preserving the places behind what they make. As the fifth generation joins the company - Amy and Jesse, they continue to find ways to support, explore and grow with their extended family of customers, co-workers, farmers and suppliers.
Through five generations of leadership in the industry, Guittard have created a collaborative culture where honourably sourced ingredients and strong relationships contribute to expertly crafted, high-quality chocolate.
They’ve joined forces with other industry members to tackle deforestation and ensure the protection and restoration of forests for a thriving cocoa community.
In 2000, Gary created the Collection Etienne baking products, referencing the hand written journals of his Great Grandfather. Guittard's premium line of chocolates crafted for the pastry chef, artisan chocolatier and chocolate lover. Made in small batches from the highest-quality cocoa beans in a centuries-old French artisan tradition, Collection Etienne delivers the same quality chocolate used by top professional pastry chefs to home bakers.
Click here to view the Guittard range in Home Baking