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01/13/2022

Ghirardelli Square to elevate consumer experience via renovation

Marianne Wilson
Editor-in-Chief
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Ghirardelli Square, located in San Francisco’s Fisherman’s Wharf area, has been home to the chocolate brand since 1893.

One of the most popular tourist spots in San Francisco is undergoing a major renovation.

Ghirardelli Chocolate Company announced the renovation of its flagship location in San Francisco's iconic Ghirardelli Square. The project, led by Bay Area-based design firm Eight Inc., involves all three Ghirardelli spaces within Ghirardelli Square being updated in a three-phase project slated to be finished by 2024. The new design will elevate the customer experience and showcase the history of Ghirardelli Chocolate, which is celebrating its 170th anniversary this year.

Ghirardelli Square has been home to the chocolate brand since 1893. 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. At least two of the three spaces, along with a pop-up shop, will be open throughout the entire process.

With the guest experience front and center, the restoration will bring unique touchpoints to each of the spaces. The Chocolate Experience Store, which is set to be completed in May 2022, will house Ghirardelli's largest “Pick & Mix” selection yet, allowing shoppers to choose from more than 20 flavors of Ghirardelli's chocolate squares available every day, plus rotating seasonal squares. The new Pick & Mix experience will blend digital and physical elements, and allow for more ways for customers to personalize assortments of Ghirardelli squares. 

The Original Ice Cream and Chocolate Shop will bring the making of fountain shop favorites from the back of the house to the front of the 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 space will be accented with such details as custom hand-crafted tiles in Ghirardelli's signature royal blue from Bay Area-based Heath Ceramics and retro advertising from throughout the company's storied history.

"Ghirardelli is not only a pioneering premium chocolate brand but also a beloved San Francisco institution,” said Edmond Kuan, managing principal at Eight Inc. “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."

Added Justin Reese, VP of retail and eCommerce at Ghirardelli Chocolate Company: "The re-design brings new vibrancy to a classic space located at one of San Francisco's most recognizable and picturesque destinations."