Guittard Chocolate to open second Fairfield facility

May 04 2018

The Reporter Posted: 05/03/18, 7:06 PM PDT | Updated: 7 hrs ago

Guittard Chocolate Company will expand chocolate production May 15 at its second facility in Fairfield, President and CEO Gary Guittard announced this week.

The milestone coincides with the family-owned company’s 150th anniversary in 2018.

Guittard said he recognized years ago that the Bay Area’s ever-increasing technology and biotechnology sectors would challenge his company’s ability to grow near its headquarters in Burlingame. He brought the company to the Fairfield site 20 years ago and built the 300,000 square-foot facility in 2001, which is used for warehousing and high-speed packaging.

The addition of new, custom-designed proprietary chocolate production equipment in Fairfield allows Guittard to meet the growing domestic and international demand for its unique premium chocolate products from its three customer categories: wholesale/manufacturing, professional/food service and consumer/retail.

The Bay Area’s See’s Candies, with which Guittard has a 60-year history, is among the makers of quality chocolate products that the Fairfield facility will further support.

The company’s headquarters will remain at the Burlingame site, where proprietary processes and vintage equipment for producing specialty and limited-edition products, as well as some of the traditional products, will continue.

 “Foresight and thoughtful planning is how the company has managed to thrive and continue creating jobs here in Northern California in 2018,” Guittard, a member of the fourth generation to own and manage the firm, said in a press release. “That the long-anticipated launch of chocolate production in Fairfield also coincides with our 150th anniversary is sweet serendipity.”

The family company started during the Gold Rush when Etienne Guittard opened Guittard Chocolate Company in 1868, selling provisions such as chocolate, coffee, tea and spices.

Today, the company is known for sourcing Fair Trade and organic cacao, as well as its “Cultivate Better” initiative to improve farmers’ livelihoods and build relationships that foster better business.

In addition to the United States, the brand is distributed throughout the United Kingdom, European Union, Asia, South Asia and the Middle East.

For the 150th anniversary, a limited edition chocolate, Eureka Works 62%, was introduced in the spring and, is a tribute to where Guittard began and is made, with beans sourced from the same locations available to founder Etienne Guittard: South America, Indonesia and Samoa.

The resulting chocolate demonstrates the West Coast flavor profile and reflects sourcing along the Pacific trade routes that has impacted the evolution of California-made chocolate.