Ghirardelli Chocolate Co. has announced plans to renovate its flagship location in San Francisco's iconic Ghirardelli Square.
The project is led by Bay Area design firm Eight Inc., with all three Ghirardelli spaces in Ghirardelli Square being updated in a three-phase project slated to be finished by 2024. At least two of the three spaces, along with a pop-up shop, will be open throughout the entire process, allowing chocolate lovers to visit the company's flagship site during the renovation.
"We can't wait to unveil the first refreshed Ghirardelli Square space later this spring,” said Justin Reese, v.p. of retail and eCommerce at Ghirardelli Chocolate Co. “Our flagship locations in Ghirardelli Square are a truly original San Francisco experience and a chocolate shop like no other. They are the best place to enjoy our World-Famous Hot Fudge Sundaes and shop the world's largest assortment of Ghirardelli chocolates. The redesign brings new vibrancy to a classic space located at one of San Francisco's most recognizable and picturesque destinations."
Situated in San Francisco's Fisherman's Wharf area, Ghirardelli Square has been home to the beloved chocolate brand since 1893. The company itself dates back to 1852, celebrating its 170th anniversary this year.
First serving as a chocolate factory, Ghirardelli Square now houses Ghirardelli's three flagship spaces (the Ghirardelli Chocolate Experience Store, the Original Ghirardelli Ice Cream and Chocolate Shop and Ghirardelli On-The-Go). For decades, city visitors and locals have flocked to Ghirardelli Square to enjoy one of the Bay Area's signature treats, Ghirardelli's signature Hot Fudge Sundae.
"When our team was approached to design the new flagship Ghirardelli stores at Ghirardelli Square, we immediately wanted to be a part of the project," said Edmond Kuan, managing principal at Eight Inc. "Ghirardelli is not only a pioneering premium chocolate brand but also a beloved San Francisco institution. The renovated spaces will give locals and visitors a full sensory experience centered on the company's world-famous chocolates and breathtaking views of the San Francisco Bay — timeless attractions that people of all ages can enjoy."
With the guest experience front and center, the restoration will bring truly unique touchpoints to each of the spaces. The Ghirardelli Chocolate Experience Store, which is set to be completed in May 2022, will house Ghirardelli's largest Pick & Mix yet, allowing visitors to choose from more than 20 flavors of Ghirardelli's chocolate squares available every day, plus rotating seasonal squares. The new Pick & Mix will be a one-of-a-kind experience, blending digital and physical elements, introducing more ways to personalize assortments of Ghirardelli squares.
The Original Ice Cream and Chocolate Shop will move the making of fountain shop favorites from the back of house to front of house for a full sensory experience. The store will feature a new chocolatier station to celebrate the craft of chocolate and delight guests with the tastes and aromas of fresh chocolate, waffle cones and hot fudge. The signature hot fudge is handmade daily in store from rich Ghirardelli chocolate produced locally in the San Francisco Bay Area. The space will be adorned with details like custom hand-crafted tiles in Ghirardelli's signature royal blue from Bay Area-based Heath Ceramics and retro advertising from throughout the company's history.
During the renovation process, the work is not expected to disrupt the day-to-day Ghirardelli experience at Ghirardelli Square. A Ghirardelli pop-up shop coming later in January will allow guests to still choose from three unique Ghirardelli experiences when visiting Ghirardelli Square and enjoy their favorite sundaes, hot cocoa and Pick & Mix offerings.