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Domenico Ghirardelli

Born: 21-Feb-1817
Birthplace: Rapallo, Italy
Died: 17-Jan-1894
Location of death: Rapallo, Italy
Cause of death: unspecified
Remains: Buried, Mountain View Cemetery, Oakland, CA

Gender: Male
Religion: Christian [1]
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Business

Nationality: United States
Executive summary: Founder of Ghirardelli Chocolate Company

Domenico "Domingo" Ghirardelli (gear-ar-deli) was born and raised in Italy, and apprenticed at Romanengo's chocolate shop there (which is still in business). He left at twenty years of age to open his own chocolate shop in Montevideo, Uruguay, and later moved to Lima, Peru, where he opened a chocolate shop next door to an American expatriate, piano-maker James Lick. When Lick left for the Gold Rush in California he soon beckoned Ghirardelli to follow. Arriving in 1849, he worked first as a prospector and then as the operator of a general store, before opening his confectionery in 1852, now known as the Ghirardelli Chocolate Company. The company's former factory on San Francisco's waterfront is now a famed tourist attraction, Ghirardelli Square, while the chocolates are made at a far less charming facility in suburban San Leandro.

[1] Raised Catholic, Ghirardelli had an falling-out with the church -- the details are unclear -- and even had several family members' graves removed from a San Francisco-area Catholic cemetery.

Father: Giuseppe Ghirardelli (merchant)
Sister: Agnese Ghirardelli
Wife: Elisabetta Corsini Ghirardelli ("Bettina", b. circa 1817, m. 1837, d. 1846)
Wife: Carmen Alvarado Martin Ghirardelli (m. 1849)
Daughter: Angela Ghirardelli Jorgensen (artist, 1859-1936)
Son: Domenico Ghirardelli, Jr. (Ghirardelli executine)
Daughter: Elvira Ghirardelli Sutton (b. 1856)
Son: Eugenio Ghirardelli ("Eugene", merchant)
Son: Gieseppe Ghirardelli ("Joseph", Ghirardelli executive)
Son: Luigi Ghirardelli ("Louis", Ghirardelli executive)

    Ghirardelli Chocolate Company Founder & President (1852-94)
Naturalized US Citizen
    Italian Ancestry

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