Chocolate making is an art unto itself. It starts on the farm where the farmers carefully and artfully harvest, ferment and dry their cacao beans. It continues once small batches of those beans arrive at our California headquarters where we combine generation-old techniques with innovative blends and approaches to craft premium chocolates.
We begin by roasting the dried cacao beans. Next, they’re winnowed and then slowly ground into fine particles until they become a dark, bitter liquid (chocolate liquor or cocoa mass).
Other ingredients, such as sugar, added cocoa butter and milk (in the case of milk chocolate) may be added at this stage. The resulting thick chocolate is taken from the mixer and refined further to an extremely smooth consistency.
Conching is the crucial next step in flavor development, where nuances and complexities are created in the chocolate. Guittard has over 135 years of custom chocolate-making and conching experience, and some of our conching formulas have been handed down over four generations.
Last, the chocolate is tempered to achieve perfect consistency and moulded into bars, wafers and chips.
Guittard has been making chocolate for five generations. And over that time, we’ve continued to cultivate strong, trusted, respectful relationships with farmers, employees, and customers. We build positive connections throughout our supply chain and at every stage of our process.
Our employees are at the heart and soul of Guittard. We’re proud to have second- and third-generation employees in our ranks—many of whom have worked for us for more than 25 years.
We also have customers and suppliers that span multiple generations.
This what truly comprises the Guittard Family. It’s a passion, a curiosity, and a dedication that defines our business—and that constantly makes us strive to Cultivate Better.
Through our time, leadership, funding, and in-kind donations, the Guittard team actively supports The Boys and Girls Club of America and the Careers in Culinary Arts Program (C-CAP), helping future generations access the training and opportunities they need to achieve success.
Guittard is an active member of the local community. We serve on boards and donate funding, product, and time to important organizations such as:
And we believe just as strongly in supporting education at home as we do at the farm level.
We lead by example in our own operations. While part of staying in business for 147 years is being efficient, we are continually working to reduce our environmental impact by reducing our energy, water, and waste wherever possible.
We have partnered with our energy utility, PG&E and worked with advisors to reduce our electric and gas consumption through innovative conservation and efficiency initiatives. We are working with our water utility and our maintenance team to reduce our water usage by 25% and we working with our recycling partner, Recology, to reduce our waste to landfill by 30%. Looking to the future, we are actively investigating various renewable energy options to further reduce our environmental footprint.
We source Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified corrugate for our packaging materials when available. FSC certification ensures that products come from responsibly managed forests that provide environmental, social and economic benefits.
Our exceptional buying standards go above and beyond standard physical specifications to include rigorous sensory panel and performance tests, ensuring all the ingredients we source are of the highest quality.
Not only do premium ingredients drive excellence in our end products, but they also have benefits on the ground. Exceptional quality and flavor improves market access, increases value, and fosters long-lasting, mutually beneficial relationships.
Food Safety has always been a top priority at Guittard; it is a central part of our mission toward crafting a quality product that meets the needs of our customers and consumers. Our Microbiology Lab continuously tests our ingredients, intermediate products, finished goods and the environmental quality of the manufacturing facility to ensure we meet the highest of standards regarding food born pathogens. Our SQF Level II certification takes food safety one step further. Safe Quality Food (SQF) is a globally recognized food safety and quality certification. The SQF programs have been designed to meet the needs of suppliers, the food industry, and consumers. Through our SQF certification, Guittard exceeds customer expectations by engaging in total product life-cycle management through the use of proven analytical methods to drive continuous improvement, product development and sustainability.