In the 1850s, Etienne Guittard embarked on an arduous journey from France to America. It was during the California Gold Rush, and in just a few short years, while still in his twenties, this adventuresome Frenchman struck "gold" on the rough and tumble streets of early San Francisco.

In no time, San Francisco became one of the great chocolate manufacturing centers in America, where ships from exotic regions of the world brought their cacao beans to market. Of the original family-owned companies that brought commerce and culture to the dusty, often lawless streets of early San Francisco, Guittard Chocolate Company is the only one that remains family-owned.