Appears in
Oxford Companion to Sugar and Sweets

By Darra Goldstein

Published 2015

  • About

Guittard is the oldest family-owned and operated chocolate company in the United States. Its continuity reflects the core value of sustainability the company has embraced since its founding. Guittard products are used by professionals and home bakers and also include ready-to-eat chocolate.

Etienne Guittard left his native France for California in the mid-nineteenth century to take part in the Gold Rush, intending to trade his family’s French chocolate for mining tools. But he quickly realized the value of high-quality chocolate and decided to return to France to hone his craft. In 1868 he went back to San Francisco and opened Guittard Chocolate on Sansome Street. That same year, however, Guittard became part of a California Supreme Court case, when it was sued for trademark infringement. The company had misled consumers by calling its chocolate “Sweet German Chocolate,” a name considered too similar to Baker’s “German Sweet Chocolate.” See baker’s.