Ghirardelli, also known as the Ghirardelli Chocolate Company, is a company that makes and sells fine chocolates. Ghirardelli controls all aspects of their chocolate making process, from the bean selection to conching, to ensure the quality of their products is just right. Some of their products include:
Ghirardelli chocolates began in 1849 and was incorporated in 1852. The company was started by a man named Domingo Ghirardelli. He immigrated to America after leaving his native homeland of Rapallo, Italy. Domingo thought he could become rich by mining gold during the California Gold Rush. When his mining efforts failed, he began selling supplies and confections to other miners. This venture was so successful, he decided to open an official store to sell his chocolates and other goodies. However, in 1851, a fire consumed his business, and he was left with very few assets.
After the fire, Ghirardelli opened a coffee shop in San Francisco called the Cairo Coffee House, which failed miserably. He then opened a new store, which he named Ghirardely and Girard. In 1852, Ghirardelli changed the name of the company to Mrs. Ghirardelli and Company. At this time, the company sold chocolates, coffee and spices as well as wines, liquors and cordials. It wasn't until 1884 that the company began selling only chocolate, coffee and spices.
In 1900, the company sold its coffee and spices company, which limited Ghirardelli to chocolates and mustard. Unscathed by the great San Francisco earthquake of 1906, the company completed what is now known as Ghirardelli Square in 1915. In 1962, the company was purchased by William Matson Roth and his mother, Mrs. William P. Roth. The purchase included Ghirardelli Square and all the equipment and recipes used by the company.
The Ghirardelli Chocolate Company celebrated it's 150th anniversary in 2002.
Customers are very happy with products from Ghirardelli. Here is a sampling of some of the customer reviews found on the Epinions website:
"If ever there was a place that deserved the name Chocolate Shop, this is it. Imagine yourself out for a walk on a hot, sweltering summer afternoon down the Magnificent Mile. Ah, the mile is magnificent; but the weather is not. All you want is a nice place to sit down and have something cold to drink." Read More...
"Ghirardelli's Chocoalte Shop has a very old school chocolate shop feel to it. When you step inside this little shop, you are greeted with the aroma of fresh chocolates. The decor is very cozy, with tiny little tables scattered around the shop for people to sit and enjoy their treats." Read More...
"Ghiradelli's Chocolate Shop offers many delicable ice cream concoctions from hot fudge sundaes to an ice cream treat that serves four people! I arrived at Ghiradellis ready for a great hot fudge sundae, and I was not disappointed." Read More...
"I started purchasing their chocolate bars to use in my home baking. The chocolate is so much nicer than most other products at the supermarket, so I always stock up at Ghirardelli's to make sure I have enough on hand for any baking needs. They have a number of different varieties in bar format and chip format too." Read More...
"I don't usually like semi-sweet chocolate, but somehow, Ghirardelli's had a way of making me like it." Read More...
Ghirardelli is not currently accredited with the Better Business Bureau. They are, however, rated by the BBB with a C- (on a scale from A+ to F). The company has had 10 complaints filed by customers with the BBB in the past 3 years, one of which was closed in the past year. Ghirardelli failed to resolve only one of the complaints to the customer's satisfaction; however, they did not respond at all to three of the complaints.
Ghirardelli is a fairly popular website. According to Alexa, Ghirardelli has a global ranking of 145,515 and a US ranking of 35,920 (the Alexa website states a website that has a ranking better than 100,000 is popular site). The site has 2,062 sites that backlink to theirs and a bounce rate of 44 percent. The audience for this site is primarily moms with some college education browsing from home. On Compete, Ghirardelli is ranked 34,973 and has 54,264 unique visitors to their site monthly. Ghirardelli has a Google PageRank of five out of ten.
Ghirardelli has a strong social media presence. They currently have 1,179,187 "likes" on their Facebook page. On Twitter, they have 1,950 followers and have composed 6,889 tweets.
Ghirardelli also has a YouTube Channel that currently has 40 subscribers, and their videos have had 62,067 views. They have uploaded 26 videos all of which discuss cooking with Ghirardelli chocolate.
The company does not currently have a Google+ page or Pinterest profile.
Ghirardelli highly values their customers’ privacy and is diligent in providing a safe and secure browsing and ordering experience. The company does store customer information when an account is created. However, if you prefer you can checkout as a guest, and only the information required to process the order is stored.
Ghirardelli also uses Secure Socket Layer (SSL) encryption to protect sensitive credit card information during the checkout process. This can be verified by the https:// in the upper left corner of the browser in the address window.
The Google Safe Browsing Tool verifies the safety of this website. None of the 19 pages Google visited in the past 90 days on the Ghirardelli website were found to be suspicious, and they did not contain any malware that was unknowingly downloaded when they were viewed. The site is hosted on one network.
Ghirardelli has competitive prices for their chocolate considering its quality. Here is a sampling of some of their products and their prices.
Ghirardelli uses UPS or FedEx to ship all of it's orders, and they are unable to ship to PO boxes. Shipping charges are calculated during the checkout process. Currently, shipping is only offered within the United States, Puerto Rico and Canada. Orders cannot be delivered on weekends or legal holidays; however, for an extra fee, deliveries can be made on Saturdays. Arrangements for Saturday deliveries can be made by calling 888.402.6262.
Ghirardelli accepts all major credit cards (Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express). Debit cards are accepted as long as they have the Visa or MasterCard logo on them, but it must be used as a credit card. PIN numbers can't be used. They do not accept Paypal, personal checks or money orders at this time.
Customer satisfaction is very important to Ghirardelli. If for any reason you are not completely satisfied with your purchase, you may return the order for a refund of the purchase price (shipping fees are nonrefundable), however restocking fees may apply. Return shipping fees are the responsibility of the customer. Customer service (888.402.6262) must be contacted prior to returning your product. Merchandise can also be returned to a Ghirardelli store.
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