Ghirardelli is a name that’s synonymous with San Francisco but also known around the world for its delectable chocolates. Ghirardelli Square is a chocolate lover’s paradise, and now, the Chocolate Experience Store is back with a new design and some new experiences for guests. The reimagined space pays homage to the company’s 170-year history and was designed by Eight Inc. (you’ve seen their work at many Apple Stores). We talked with Justin Reese, VP of Retail and eCommerce at Ghirardelli, about the new space and the exciting changes guests can find at the Chocolate Experience Store.
The Newly Redesigned Ghirardelli Chocolate Experience Store
WT: What renovations are you most excited to debut? How is the redesigned space creating a new experience for guests?
Reese: Eight Inc, the design firm we collaborated with for the Chocolate Experience Store, put so much attention to detail into the space, from the custom Heath Ceramic Tiles in Ghirardelli Blue to perfectly honoring our heritage and bringing modern elements into the store. The one thing that I’m really excited about is our Pick & Mix. It is Ghirardelli’s largest Pick & Mix in the world, with each and every one of Ghirardelli’s Chocolate Square flavors available in one place.
The new space is all about showcasing the Ghirardelli craft of chocolate making. The central new features in the store are the chocolatier station and our enormous new Pick & Mix. In the chocolatier station, we are bringing forward a full sensory experience where you can see, smell and taste hand-made hot fudge, fresh chocolate bars and waffle cones.
Our retail stores have always been the only place where you can mix and match your favorite mix of Ghirardelli Squares, and now for the first time, you can personalize your gift with a photo and message.
WT: Ghirardelli is such an internationally-known brand. What do you think most sets the company apart from its competitors?
Reese: Ghirardelli has been continuously operating for 170 years, making high-quality, premium chocolates that have been loved by generations. We are one of the very few American manufacturers that make chocolate starting from the cocoa bean all the way through to the finished product. As a signature San Francisco destination, Ghirardelli Square is unique in that we have managed to preserve our storied history in one of the most picturesque and destination-worthy locales in the city.
WT: What do you feel keeps visitors coming back to Ghirardelli Square whenever they visit? I know I personally try to prioritize it whenever I am in town!
Reese: There is something quintessential in San Francisco about having our decadent World Famous Hot Fudge Sundae, soaking in some of the best views in the city and knowing you are steeped in the earliest history of the city.