Sacramento chocolatier expands into San Francisco

There's always a good deal of chatter about San Francisco businesses expanding into Sacramento, from tech startups to restaurants.

There's always a good deal of chatter about San Francisco businesses expanding into Sacramento, from tech startups to restaurants.

But one Sacramento business is the latest in what the city's Economic Development Office calls "a long tradition of fostering new businesses who then take their success and expand into other markets/locations."

Ginger Elizabeth Hahn launched her Sacramento-based business Ginger Elizabeth Chocolates a decade ago. Hahn's business makes chocolates and pastries, among other desserts.

"Being in Sacramento has really pushed me as a chocolatier because I've been able to really just be inspired and grow with the ingredients that are grown around here," Hahn told ABC10 News Tuesday.

She partners with some 30 local growers to get her ingredients, from berries, nuts and coffee to eggs and even olive oil.

"We really try to get everything from the Central Valley or the Northern California Coast," she explained.

She has a storefront in Midtown and her kitchen has been in West Sacramento for four years.

Recently, a dream of hers came true.

"Just about two months ago, we opened up our first location in San Francisco, in the Marina District," she said.

Amid all the talk of San Francisco businesses expanding into Sacramento, here's a business doing just the opposite.

"In Sacramento, I really felt like there was a need for a chocolate company, and I didn't think I'd have a lot of competition here," Hahn said. "I was 24 when I opened my first company, so I thought it would just be the perfect place, not to mention I grew up in this area and I was very familiar with it."

Hahn employs some 27 people, between Sacramento and the Bay Area.

Is there more growth in the future?

"Never say never and, you know, five years down the road maybe, but not right now," Hahn said. "I kind of have, like, what I always wanted, so, you know, a store in Sacramento, a store in San Francisco, I have my kids, I'm good."

She's satisfied, bringing a taste of the Central Valley to the Bay Area.

Local business leaders, including Sacramento Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce president and CEO Darrell Teat, say Sacramento-based success stories help draw entrepreneurs to California's capital city.

"We have a lot of innovators and entrepreneurs here making things happen," Teat said. "It really provides the backdrop that Sacramento is for business, Sacramento is a great place to live and Sacramento also provides all the amenities that are needed in order to raise a family."

In addition to a business-friendly environment, Teat said, quality-of-life amenities are also important in encouraging entrepreneurs to set up shop in Sacramento.

"A lot of times you'll see that small business owners really want a cohesive and kind of a collaborative environment to work in and also build their company in," he said, "but also a great place to raise their family."

Sacramento's Economic Development Office said examples of Sacramento businesses expanding beyond the city "can be found in all sectors including food, technology, product development, and professional expertise."

The office points to major companies like Blue Diamond Almonds and Miyamoto International, a Sacramento-based global earthquake engineering firm that now has more than 1,000 employees across 18 international offices, as well as smaller businesses, like Ginger Elizabeth Chocolates, Hot Italian, and Mikuni.

"These companies along with others have served as marketing ambassadors for Sacramento — showing that the City has an environment that supports local businesses," the office told ABC10 in a statement. "The City hopes that the success of these companies help spread the word that Sacramento has a thriving economy and is ready and open for business."

© 2018 KXTV-TV


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