Domingo Ghirardelli

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Domingo Ghirardelli
Born Domenico Ghirardelli
(1817-02-21)February 21, 1817
Rapallo, Italy
Died January 17, 1894(1894-01-17) (aged 76)
Rapallo, Italy
Residence San Francisco, California
Nationality Italian American
Occupation Chocolatier
Known for founder, Ghirardelli & Sons chocolate company
Spouse(s) Elisabetta Ghirardelli
Carmen Ghirardelli
Children Carmen (foster)
Virginia
Domenico, Jr.
Joseph Nicholas
Elvira
Louis
Angela
Eugene
Parents Giuseppe and Madelena Ghirardelli
A selection of Ghirardelli's chocolate in the flagship shop at Ghirardelli Square in San Francisco, California
An old delivery carriage with Ghirardelli's name on it

Domenico "Domingo" Ghirardelli, Sr. (February 21, 1817–1894) was the founder of the Ghirardelli Chocolate Company in San Francisco, California.

Biography[edit]

Early life[edit]

Domenico Ghirardelli, Sr. was born on February 21, 1817,[1] in Rapallo, Italy, to Giuseppe and Madelena (née Ferretto) Ghirardelli.[2][3] His father was a spice merchant in Genoa.[4] In his teens, he apprenticed at Romanengo's, a noted chocolatier in Genoa.[5]

At about the age of twenty, in 1837, he moved to Uruguay, then in 1838 to Lima, Peru, where established a confectionery, and began using the Spanish equivalent of his Italian name, Domingo. In 1849 he moved to California on the recommendation of his former neighbor, James Lick, who had brought 600 pounds of chocolate with him to San Francisco in 1848. Caught up in the California Gold Rush, Ghirardelli spent a few months in the gold fields near Sonora and Jamestown, before deciding to become a merchant in Hornitos, California.[6]

Career[edit]

In 1852, he moved to San Francisco and established the Ghirardelli Chocolate Company at what would come to be known as Ghirardelli Square. According to the San Francisco Chronicle he is San Francisco's most successful chocolatier.[7]

Around the year 1865, a worker at the Ghirardelli factory discovered that by hanging a bag of ground cacao beans in a warm room, the cocoa butter would drip off, leaving behind a residue that could then be converted into ground chocolate. This technique, known as the Broma process is now the most common method used for the production of chocolate.[8]

Personal life[edit]

Ghirardelli married Elisabetta Corsini (nicknamed "Betinna"), a native of Italy, in 1837. She died in 1846.[5]

Ghirardelli married Carmen Alvarado Martin (1830–1887) of Lima, Peru, in 1847.[5][a][9] Her first husband had been a French physician who had been lost at sea,[3] and she had an eight-month-old child, Carmen.[10] He and Carmen had seven children: Virginia (1847-1867);[b][11] Domenico, Jr. (1849-1932);[12] Joseph Nicholas (1852-1906);[13] Elvira (1856–1908);[14] Louis (1857–1902);[15] Angela (1859-1936);[16] and Eugene Gustave (1860–?).[c][3][17]

Death[edit]

He died in 1894 while on a trip to his birthplace in Italy. He was buried in Mountain View Cemetery in Oakland, California.[7]

References[edit]

Notes
  1. ^ Her date of death was September 18, 1887.
  2. ^ Virginia married Angelo Mangini, and they had a daughter, Amelia, in 1863. Amelia died in 1879, leaving no heirs.
  3. ^ Historian Sidney Lawrence gives Eugene's date of birth as 1860, but Polly Ghirardelli Lawrence says none of her relatives knows Eugene's actual date of birth. Sidney Lawrence notes that he married Rosa Capelli, and the couple had two sons: Angelo and Rinaldo. He goes on to say that Eugene founded an import company, E. Ghirardelli Mercantile Company, which went bankrupt in 1905. Polly Lawrence and Sidney Lawrence note that Eugene disappeared in 1909, and Sidney Lawrence says he was declared legally dead in 1921.
Citations
  1. ^ Dillon, Richard H. (1985). North Beach: The Italian Heart of San Francisco. San Francisco: Presidio Press. p. 11. ISBN 0891411879. 
  2. ^ Lawrence, Polly Ghirardelli; Tingley, Margery Menafee; Reed, Ben W.; Teiser, Ruth (1985). The Ghirardelli Family and Chocolate Company of San Francisco. Berkeley, Calif.: Regional Oral History Office, The Bancroft Library, University of California. p. 1. 
  3. ^ a b c Lawrence, Sidney (March 2002). "The Ghirardelli Story". California History: 164. 
  4. ^ Lawrence, Polly Ghirardelli; Tingley, Margery Menafee; Reed, Ben W.; Teiser, Ruth (1985). The Ghirardelli Family and Chocolate Company of San Francisco. Berkeley, Calif.: Regional Oral History Office, The Bancroft Library, University of California. p. 3. 
  5. ^ a b c Lawrence, Sidney (March 2002). "The Ghirardelli Story". California History: 90. 
  6. ^ "Hornitos". Ghost Towns, Abandoned Villages, and Historical Sites in the United States and Canada. Retrieved 2007-07-08. 
  7. ^ a b SF Chronicle, July 25, 2010. "Where to Find Celebrities' Resting Places" by Charlie Wells
  8. ^ "Ghirardelli". The Ghirardelli Story - A Rich Heritage. Retrieved 2009-01-10. 
  9. ^ "The Eastern Shore". Daily Alta California. September 20, 1888. p. 8. 
  10. ^ Estate of Domingo Ghirardelli, deceased. No. 14,521. 4 Coffey 1, 7 (San Francisco Superior Court, 20 March 1896).
  11. ^ Lawrence, Polly Ghirardelli; Tingley, Margery Menafee; Reed, Ben W.; Teiser, Ruth (1985). The Ghirardelli Family and Chocolate Company of San Francisco. Berkeley, Calif.: Regional Oral History Office, The Bancroft Library, University of California. p. 10. 
  12. ^ Lawrence, Polly Ghirardelli; Tingley, Margery Menafee; Reed, Ben W.; Teiser, Ruth (1985). The Ghirardelli Family and Chocolate Company of San Francisco. Berkeley, Calif.: Regional Oral History Office, The Bancroft Library, University of California. p. 11. ; San Francisco Journal of Commerce (1891). The Builders of a Great City: San Francisco's Representative Men, the City, Its History and Commerce. San Francisco: San Francisco Journal of Commerce. p. 96. 
  13. ^ Baker, Joseph Eugene (1914). Past and Present of Alameda County, California. Chicago: S.J. Clarke. p. 132. 
  14. ^ Lawrence, Polly Ghirardelli; Tingley, Margery Menafee; Reed, Ben W.; Teiser, Ruth (1985). The Ghirardelli Family and Chocolate Company of San Francisco. Berkeley, Calif.: Regional Oral History Office, The Bancroft Library, University of California. pp. 16–17. 
  15. ^ Lawrence, Polly Ghirardelli; Tingley, Margery Menafee; Reed, Ben W.; Teiser, Ruth (1985). The Ghirardelli Family and Chocolate Company of San Francisco. Berkeley, Calif.: Regional Oral History Office, The Bancroft Library, University of California. pp. 19, 21. 
  16. ^ Dramov, Alissandra (2013). Carmel-by-the-Sea, the Early Years (1903-1913. Bloomington, Ind.: Authorhouse. p. 128. ISBN 9781491824146. 
  17. ^ Lawrence, Polly Ghirardelli; Tingley, Margery Menafee; Reed, Ben W.; Teiser, Ruth (1985). The Ghirardelli Family and Chocolate Company of San Francisco. Berkeley, Calif.: Regional Oral History Office, The Bancroft Library, University of California. p. 26.