June 12, 2012

Ghirardelli Celebrates 160 Years - 45 in San Leandro

Nearly 68 banners were recently installed on poles along E. 14th Street and Washington Avenue to celebrate 160 years since Ghirardelli opened for business in 1852. Ghirardelli has been in San Leandro since 1967, when it moved its corporate offices and factory from San Francisco.

San Leandro Mayor Stephen Cassidy proclaimed June 2012 as Ghirardelli Chocolate Month and Ghirardelli as the official chocolate of San Leandro in a proclamation at the May 21, 2012, City Council meeting.

Ghirardelli CEO Marty Thompson, after handing out bags of chocolate at the meeting, noted that Ghirardelli was the sixth largest chocolate manufacturer in the United States and the second largest U.S. baking chocolate manufacturer. Thompson proudly noted that every Ghirardelli product sold is produced at the San Leandro factory and said, "We're investing very heavily into our facility...This is where we're going to make our chocolate going forward."

Installation of the banners required that the San Leandro Administrative Code be changed to allow a commercial organization to install decorative banners. Previously, section 1.8.110 stated, "Banners that are strictly of a commercial nature shall not be installed in the City of San Leandro."

The cost of the banners and installation is solely the responsibility of the organization and not the City of San Leandro. StopWaste.org, the East Bay Bicycle Coalition, and the San Leandro Boys and Girls Club are some of the organizations that have previously installed banners.

Ghirardelli employs nearly 400 employees at its corporate office and factory at 1111 139th Avenue in San Leandro. It also has a factory outlet store, which is open Monday to Friday from 9:30am to 5:30pm, Saturday, 9:30am to 5pm and Sunday, 10am to 5pm.

Posted by Mike Katz-Lacabe at June 12, 2012 10:56 PM | TrackBack
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