mission statement & company pledges
In 2004, William Gustwiller began handcrafting exotic confections with the unique perspective & intuition of an artist. Having earned his MFA in Sculpture from SDSU, he is committed to complex flavor & elegant form. In 2007, he opened a charming dessert cafe on El Cajon Boulevard. By 2013, the team relocated to the vibrant neighborhood of south park. Today, Eclipse Chocolate proudly presents nearly 100 different handcrafted confections, dozens of pastries, & a full-service restaurant menu featuring daily brunch & nightly dinner, as well as regular special events including Chocolate Threeway Tastings & Build-a-Bar Workshops.
We have proudly allied ourselves with Guittard Chocolate in San Francisco for all of our cacao. Family owned/operated for 150 years, they craft couverture chocolate from Fair Trade Certified cocoa beans that are sourced from around the world for their quality & sustainability. We strive to maintain “green” operations, which includes our dedication to using only corn-based & post-consumer paper products for all to-go containers, onsite recycling for all appropriate cardboard & plastics, recycling of all grease trap/cooking fat emissions for reuse as bio-fuel, & reuse of all external shipping & packing materials.
Everything we craft consists of hand-selected ingredients, including organic items when possible. We craft from couverture chocolate, which contains an exceptionally high content of cocoa butter (31%). Cocoa butter, the natural fat contained in cacao, creates the luxurious mouthfeel & velvety texture that is the hallmark of fine confectionery. mass manufactured chocolate can contain as little as 1-5% cocoa butter, & is often augmented with the addition of vegetable fats such as hydrogenated soy or palm oil. We label our products for special dietary considerations, & feature many vegan, vegetarian, & gluten-free options. We never use artificial ingredients, coloring, or preservatives.
10% PLEDGE DONATION:
We proudly pledge 10% of our net profits to local non-profits & charities. This program is budgeted quarterly, & typically takes the form of in-kind donations such as offsite charitable tastings, gala silent auctions, gift bag contributions, & other fundraisers. Because our pledge is public, we often see 3-5 donation requests each week. While we would like to support all organizations, our budget is typically allocated 2-3 months in advance due to high demand. Our contributions have gone to a diverse group of organizations including: the Alzheimer’s Association, SD Zoo, Elderhelp, SD Pride, & many others.
All of our products are produced & packaged by hand in small batches, including our breads, pastries, & the components in our confections. Because this process is tied to personal handling instead of mass-manufacturing, we can achieve outstanding quality of texture & flavor.