news

  • 2018

    • Made in Washington: Fran's Chocolates. Certified fair trade chocolates in Georgetown

      Seattle Business Magazine

      Seattle seems awash in artisan chocolate, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. You can credit Fran Bigelow, who got the movement rolling in 1982. Today, Fran’s Chocolates remains a Seattle-based, family-owned purveyor of high-end chocolates to consumers who don’t mind paying extra for that “wow” moment when chocolate becomes an experience beyond the mere satisfying of a sweet-tooth craving.

      Read more at: seattlebusinessmag.com
    • Seattle Week: Fran's Chocolates offers guided tasting of exquisite confections

      Living808

      Fran's Chocolates is featured as part of the Seattle Week celebration on Hawaii's Living808 Lifestyle TV show. When owner Fran Bigelow opened her first store, she specialized in a small line of five hand-dipped truffles. Today, however, she is known for her delicious salted caramels. The confection quickly gained a following, including the praise of a former president.

      Read more at: khon2.com
    • These Mother-Daughter Duos Are Food Industry Power Players

      Refinery29

      These powerful mother-daughter duos all work in the food industry and span from actual restaurant-running teams to lady-led companies inspired by moms. We chatted with each of them in order to find out how these special relationships helped to shape their careers and love for food, what they've learned from one another, and how it's brought them together throughout the years.
      Andrina & Fran Bigelow, Fran’s Chocolates: In 2007, Andrina Bigelow left her post-MBA career to join her mother Fran's side at the chocolate company she started back in 1982. Today, the pair are still going strong, creating sweets side-by-side.

      Read more at: refinery29.com
    • Fran Bigelow Inducted into the Specialty Food Association Hall of Fame

      The Specialty Food Association

      “The mission of Specialty Food Association Hall of Fame is to honor individuals who have achieved innovative success while making a positive impact within the industry... This year’s honorees are specialty food pioneers who have been integral to industry growth and exemplify the Vision of our Association, ‘To Shape the Future of Food.’”
      Fran Bigelow’s love of fine chocolate and celebration led her to found Fran’s Chocolates in 1982, in Seattle, WA. Thirty six years later, Fran’s has grown to include four Seattle-area boutiques and thriving mail order and wholesale lines. Fran’s commitment to preserving pure chocolate flavor is evident in each delicious confection, and she has been credited with sparking the artisan chocolate renaissance in the U.S.

      Read more at: specialtyfood.com
    • Mom's Day Gifts That Please and Pamper

      Catholic Digest

      Fran's fair trade, organic Gray & Smoked Salt Caramels dipped in chocolate are little rectangles of heaven. They have the ideal texture for caramels — soft and smooth — and just the right amount of salt. A decadent, high-end treat that will make mom feel special.

      Read more at: catholicdigest.com
    • Last-minute treats for the Easter basket

      Seattle Times

      Fran’s Treasure Egg. Swap out the old hollow chocolate bunny for something considerably more luxe. Available only at Fran’s Seattle-area stores, this 64 percent dark-chocolate hollow egg has a textured exterior with hand-dusted gold accents. Inside, it’s filled with three dark-chocolate caramel chicks and three milk-chocolate caramel chicks.

      Read more at: seattletimes.com
    • The Season for Chocolate Lovers

      425 magazine

      The doors to Fran’s Chocolates in Bellevue and Seattle are like the entrance to heaven. Bite-size chocolate truffles are delicately wrapped in paper foil, beckoning onlookers to have a taste. Fran Bigelow’s name has become synonymous with exceptional chocolate; it was a trip to Paris that inspired her affinity for “pure” and “simple” flavors. Bigelow opened her first patisserie and chocolate shop in 1982, and is credited for “sparking the artisan chocolate renaissance in the United States”...

      Read more at: 425magazine.com
    • The 9 Best Chocolate Gifts for Any Occasion

      Epicurious

      #1. The Best Chocolates for Caramel Lovers: Fran's Chocolates
      Fran's makes a lot of great giftable chocolates. But the thing I love most is this boxed duo of their signature Gray Salt and Smoked Salt Caramels. The smoked version is just barely smoky—enough to add complexity, but nowhere near overpowering—and enrobed in silky milk chocolate. The gray salt version is covered in lush dark chocolate. Both versions give way to a soft caramel that won't leave you chewing all day, but will leave you totally satisfied.

      Read more at: epicurious.com
    • 2018 Good Food Award Winners: Fran's Dark Chocolate Sauce and Caramel Sauce

      Good Food Awards

      Fran's Chocolates wins a 2018 Good Food Award in the Confections category for our Dark Chocolate Sauce and Caramel Sauce.
      Fran's Dessert Sauces are certified Fairtrade and Organic.

      Read more at: goodfoodawards.org
    • Fran's Chocolates in an urushi lacquered box

      Origami Magazine

      Fran's Chocolates has teamed with Heiando to create an exquisite gift: an assortment of dark and milk chocolate truffles and caramels in a beautiful urushi hand-lacquered box from the company that has been serving Japan's Imperial Household since 1919.

    • Where to Find Seattle’s Best Dessert Spots

      Culture Trip

      One of the most highly regarded chocolatiers in the nation, Fran Bigelow opened her first chocolate shop in 1982, and she has been “credited for sparking the artisan chocolate renaissance in the United States.” Famously known as Obama’s favorite chocolate shop, Fran’s Chocolates offers everything from truffles to chocolate-covered fruit and nuts to hot chocolate, all hand packaged to look as astonishing as it tastes.

      Read more at: theculturetrip.com
  • 2017

    • 25 Chocolate Bars Perfect for Gifting: Fran's Crunch Bars with Roasted Nibs

      Martha Stewart Living

      Roasted cacao nibs can sometimes be a distraction in a chocolate bar. Not so in this version from Seattle maker Fran's -- here, you taste the rich dark chocolate first, then get to enjoy a crunch at the end of every bite.

      Read more at: marthastewart.com
    • Behind the Scenes Eats - How to Make Fran's Chocolates Favorites

      Allrecipes

      In Seattle, there’s one place locals go to enjoy pure hand-crafted chocolate truffles, legendary salted caramels and classic gold bars, and that’s Fran’s Chocolates. Join us at the Georgetown factory as businesswoman and founder Fran Bigelow expresses her philosophy of chocolate and walks through the extraordinary process of creating three of her singular seasonal creations: chocolate-dipped Sierra figs, chocolate-dipped pumpkin seeds inside a pumpkin shell, and her elegant Thanksgiving centerpiece, the gold-accented chocolate turkey.

      Read more at: youtube.com
    • 2017 Northwest Chocolate Festival Award Winner: Fran's Park Bar

      The Northwest Chocolate Festival

      Fran's Chocolates wins the 2017 Northwest Chocolate Festival Award in the Confections category for our Park Bars.

      Read more at: nwchocolate.com
    • Take These Home: Fran's Dessert Sauces

      Martha Stewart Living, October 2017

      This year, the beloved Fran's Chocolates - famed for its salted caramels - is relaunching its line of decadent sauces, which are now certified organic and fair-trade.

    • Why Fran's Chocolates Hosts Ikebana Classes

      Five Senses Foundation

      Five Senses Foundation founder, Akemi Sagawa, on hosting Ikebana classes at Fran's Chocolates:
      "The Georgetown store of Fran’s Chocolates is housed in an old brick and mortar building which used to be a brewery. Anybody who visits the space falls in love with its serene and tranquil atmosphere... If you are interested in Ikebana, come join us at Fran’s Chocolates in Georgetown. Please visit iloveikebana.com/schedule to check out the next class."

      Read more at: fivesensesfoundation.org
    • 15 Restaurants Ina Garten Secretly Loves

      Delish

      [Fran's Chocolates] is a must-visit spot for Ina when she visits Seattle. If you go, opt for the assorted truffles... They come filled with espresso, oolong tea, single malt whiskey, and various fruits and nuts.

      Read more at: delish.com
    • Looking For The Best Artisanal Chocolate Makers In America

      Uproxx

      There’s a reason that this Seattle chocolate shop is a personal favorite of President Obama. The family owned business has been hand crafting mouth-watering truffles, salted caramels, and chocolate covered nuts for over 30 years. Obama’s go-to order is their milk chocolate, salted caramels. Apparently, he loves them so much that [he] refuses to share, and the chocolatier makes a special box just for the secret service when the president comes to town. Fran’s also has a commitment to sourcing fairtrade ingredients and is certified with Fairtrade America for their ethical sourcing practices.

      Read more at: uproxx.com
    • 2017 sofiTM Award Winner: Fran's Almond Gold Bar

      Specialty Food Association

      Fran's Chocolates wins the 2017 New Product sofiTM Award in the Chocolate Candy category for our Almond Gold Bars.

      Read more at: specialtyfood.com
    • Fairtrade organic certified Almond Gold Bar among best of America’s food movement

      Fairtrade America

      Fran's Chocolates receives prestigious Good Food Award.
      “We’re proud of this achievement and are honored to be a part of the Good Food Awards community,” said Fran Bigelow, Founder and President of Fran’s Chocolates. “The Almond Gold Bar is one of our classic recipes; its reformulation was an exciting opportunity to innovate and to strengthen our commitment to sustainable and ethical sourcing, environmental stewardship, and high-quality, organic, and Fairtrade ingredients.”

      Read more at: fairtradeamerica.org
    • Valentine's Day Travel Ideas in the Most Romantic Cities

      TripAdvisor

      Don’t skip town without stopping at Fran’s Chocolates for a Gold Bar and a box of their bestselling caramels. One reviewer writes, "This is one of those places that every chocoholic has to make a pilgrimage to."

      Read more at: tripadvisor.com
    • 2017 Good Food Award: Almond Gold Bar

      Good Food Awards

      Fran's Chocolates wins a 2017 Good Food Award in the Confections category for our Almond Gold Bar.
      Fran's Almond Gold Bars are certified Fairtrade and Organic.

      Read more at: goodfoodawards.org
  • 2016

    • Pioneer of American luxury chocolate

      Forza Style

      Japanese web magazine, Forza Style, interviews Fran's Chocolates founder, Fran Bigelow.

      Read more at: forzastyle.com
    • The Wish List: Sweets & Sparkles

      Alaska Airlines Magazine

      Fran's Chocolates are gifts anyone will be happy to unwrap, from delectable Smoked Salt Caramels to melt-in-your-cup dark hot chocolate.

      Read more at: paradigmcg.com
    • Top 10 Holiday Gifts

      PCC Taste

      Fran's Gray & Smoked Salt Caramels: These world-famous caramels need no introduction. Locally made, they're sweet, salty and creamy -- the perfect trifecta.

      Read more at: pccnaturalmarkets.com
    • Seattle's Influential Hall of Fame

      Seattle Magazine

      Fran Bigelow, founder of Fran's Chocolates
      Visionary leader of the U.S. artisan chocolate renaissance, whose commitment to the finest ingredients and exquisite packaging make her chocolates as de riguer a Seattle souvenir as salmon.

      Read more at: seattlemag.com
    • Fran Bigelow inducted into the Port Wine Brotherhood

      Confraria do Vinho Do Porto

      Mrs. Fran Bigelow has gained national fame and recognition as a master chocolatier pursuing and achieving excellence in everything she does. Over the last few years, she has developed a Port Program for her retail stores which pairs her exquisite confections with the Kopke and Rocha ports, demonstrating how amazing products can become even better when associated judiciously. In her quest for perfection, she does not allow any compromise for those pairings: both the chocolate and the port have to be reciprocally sublimated in order to provide an incredible feast for the senses and an extraordinarily satisfying experience for the consumer. Her enthusiasm and rigorous approach for those pairings have exposed many new consumers to the world of quality ports and convinced them of their deliciousness.

    • Chocolate taste testing as a job!

      King 5 Evening Magazine

      Ever wanted to eat as much chocolate as you wanted day in and day out? That's Fran Bigelow's job... Taste Testing chocolate.

      Read more at: king5.com
    • State of Chocolate: Northwest artisans keep raising the bar on confectionary delight

      AAA Journey Magazine, Nov/Dec 2016

      [Fran] Bigelow is widely considered to be the queen of Seattle's chocolatiers. Her first loyal customers included travelers and others familiar with the finest chocolates of Europe, and with their support, she was able to raise the bar on the quality of local chocolate, eventually influencing palates beyond the Northwest. To taste her truffles, caramels and other treats is to discover the distinct natural flavor notes of chocolate.

    • Mott Green Sustainability Award

      The Northwest Chocolate Festival

      Fran Bigelow receives the Mott Green Sustainability Award from the Northwest Chocolate Festival

    • 13 Amazingly Delicious Fancy Chocolates To Try

      BuzzFeed

      Fran's Double Chocolate Figs
      "These dried figs are stuffed with solid chocolate [ganache] and then dipped in MORE chocolate. So it's really not a fig, it's a delicious truffle. They're so insanely good I want them as my wedding cake."

      Read more at: buzzfeed.com
    • Valentine's Day Celebrations and Gift Guide

      Steve Harvey

      Fran's Chocolates is featured as part of the Valentine's Day celebration on Steve Harvey.
      Steve also recommends Fran's Chocolates as a perfect gift idea in his Valentine's Day Gift Guide: "Fran's Signature Confection: Chocolate Covered Caramels with Sea Salt. Fran's is made of natural ingredients with seductive textures and complex flavors."

      Read more at: steveharveytv.com
    • https://www.epicurious.com/holidays-events/best-chocolate-gifts-article

      Epicurious

      Fresh + Charming: Fran's Chocolates
      The collection of chocolates and trademark gray sea salt caramels from this beloved Seattle chocolatier stick to tried-and-true, classic flavors like whiskey, caramel, and raspberry, but the freshness of every piece makes you appreciate them anew. And the velvety, pink, heart-shaped box manages that impossible thing: it's a cliche that still manages to be charming. Just like Valentine's Day itself.

      Read more at: epicurious.com
    • Why Does Seattle Have Such A Large Local Chocolate Industry?

      KUOW.org 94.9 FM | Seattle News & Information

      Read or listen to KUOW's report on why Seattle has become a world-reknowned chocolate center.
      "Fran’s Chocolates was one of Seattle’s early chocolate pioneers [and] Fran Bigelow, the woman behind the confections, was a key innovator with her sea salted caramels."

      Read more at: kuow.org
    • Behind the scenes in Fran's new chocolate palace

      Puget Sound Business Journal

      Fran Bigelow and her grown children have assembled a chocolate box of four retail stores in the Seattle area, robust wholesale and mail order sales, and an international reputation. Fans include President Obama.

      Read more at: bizjournals.com
  • 2015

    • 7 Cookbooks for Serious Chocolate Lovers

      Paste Magazine

      Pure Chocolate: Divine Desserts and Sweets from the Creator of Fran’s Chocolates by Fran Bigelow.
      Mention Fran’s Chocolates, and maybe the first image that pops into your mind is Gray Salt Caramels. The Seattle confectioner shares recipes inspired by customer favorites in this book, and while there’s a solid section of truffles and other chocolate confections, there are cookies, tortes, and mousses aplenty, too. It’s worth having just for the instructions to Fran’s unusual ganache-making method, which is failsafe and easy.

      Read more at: pastemagazine.com
    • Mike Nichols’s Life and Career: The Definitive Oral History

      Vanity Fair

      Nick Pileggi remembering Mike Nichols:
      "Mike was always calling [Pileggi’s wife, Nora Ephron] with recipes, and she was always calling Mike with recipes. Then Mike would send over a box of some brand-new ice cream he found in the Midwest. Then Nora would send him the first batch of Fran’s Chocolates with salt on them. They were bombarding each other with food."

      Read more at: vanityfair.com
    • What to Do in Seattle: Tips From the City’s Wine Guru, Charles Smith

      T: The New York Times Style Magazine

      Washington State’s fourth-largest wine producer, Charles Smith, recommends his favorite places in Seattle's Georgetown neighborhood.
      "The president of Fran’s Chocolates set up her production and showroom here in Georgetown, in the old Rainier Malting Company, which was part of Rainier Brewery. You can go there and look through the window where they’re making truffles. You walk in the door and they offer you a beautiful piece of chocolate. How cool is that?"

      Read more at: tmagazine.blogs.nytimes.com
    • Chocolate Royalty: Fran Bigelow's Seattle

      WHERE Magazine | Seattle

      Founder Fran Bigelow shares some of her favorite memories and places in Seattle.

      Read more at: wheretraveler.com
    • Cooking with Nick Stellino: The Ultimate Bread Pudding

      PBS - Create TV

      Chef Nick Stellino visits with founder Fran Bigelow to taste the pure flavors of our Baking Bars before making his Bread Pudding with Two Chocolates recipe. Watch the video, then recreate Chef Stellino's Bread Pudding with Two Chocolates recipe at home.

    • Food Factory: Gold Bars

      Food Network Canada & FYI

      Featuring Fran's Chocolates Coconut Gold Bars and how they are made:
      "Shredded coconut, toasted almonds, and rum, this Caribbean-inspired candy bar takes a trip through a chocolate waterfall."

      Read more at: foodnetwork.ca
    • Fran's Chocolates featured on the TODAY Show

      TODAY Show

      Join Sheinelle Jones, weekend anchor of the TODAY show, as she tours the Fran's Chocolates factory with founder Fran Bigelow in preparation for Valentine's Day.
      Watch the video

  • 2014

    • 2014 Holiday Gift Guide

      People Magazine

      Bobby Flay, the executive chef and owner of New York City's Gato restaurant shares his gourmet faves, Fran's Chocolates Coconut Gold Bars: "These are the best gourmet candy bars ever. Hands down. No competition."

    • Seriously?!? I want that job: Chocolate Taster

      King 5 Evening Magazine

      Ever wanted to eat as much chocolate as you want day in and day out? That's Fran Bigelow's job. "I taste chocolate every day. And I never get tired of it, I've been doing it now for 37 years. It just makes me happy."

      Read more at: king5.com
    • Fran's Chocolates relocates to tasty new Georgetown digs

      The Seattle Times

      Under the 20-foot ceilings, there is a sleek retail area, a long, wooden tasting table and — up a center staircase made of cast iron — their offices. Tucked in back is a viewing room where customers can watch caramel being cooked, bathed in chocolate and sprinkled with gray sea salt.

      Read more at: seattletimes.com
    • Fran's Chocolates moves into historic Georgetown brewery building

      Puget Sound Business Journal

      Fran’s Chocolates has moved its family-owed fine chocolate business headquarters from Seattle’s Capitol Hill to a landmark building in Seattle’s Georgetown neighborhood.

      Read more at: bizjournals.com
    • 2014 sofiTM Award Winner: Fran's Gray Salt Caramel

      Specialty Food Association

      Fran's Chocolates wins the 2014 sofiTM Award in the Outstanding Classic category for our Gray Salt Caramels.

      Read more at: specialtyfood.com
    • Bits & Bites

      The Wall Street Journal

      Though the foil-wrapped eggs from Fran's Chocolates in Seattle, Wash., may resemble typical Easter-basket fodder, they are something far more sophisticated: quality, hand-crafted chocolate shells filled with largely organic ingredients. The sole milk chocolate variety has a toasty praline center, while smooth dark chocolate surrounds fillings like creamy coconut, salty peanut butter, molten caramel and velvety chocolate ganache. We suggest you snag enough of these seasonal confections to last long after the bunny retreats to his warren.

      Read more at: online.wsj.com
    • Fine Dining Chef is a Sweet Addition to Fran's Chocolates

      The Seattle Times

      The queen of flavor and the king of savor, Fran Bigelow and Scott Carsberg, are preparing inventive treats for Valentine's and beyond together at the Fran's Chocolate factory on Capitol Hill, a family-run business also led by Fran's daughter Andrina Bigelow and son Dylan Bigelow. Carsberg, one of Seattle's most respected and formidable fine-dining chefs, joined on to help oversee the kitchen and develop new products at Fran's, one of the pioneers of fine chocolates in the U.S. (The salt caramels preferred at The White House? They're hers.)

      Read more at: blogs.seattletimes.com
    • 36 Reasons Seattle Wins At Life

      The Huffington Post

      Obama likes his chocolate Seattle-fied. Reportedly, our nation's commander-in-chief feeds his visitors the milk chocolate and smoked salt caramels from Fran's Chocolates. Michelle prefers the gray salt ones.

      Read more at: huffingtonpost.com
    • Wafu Sohonke

      TV Osaka

      A focus on craftsmen traditions includes a feature on creating Chabako boxes and their history in Japan. See how artisan chocolatier Fran's Chocolates in Seattle, Washington, incorporates these special boxes into their line of confections.

    • Special Chocolates for Valentine's Day

      Consumer Reports

      Fran's Chocolates 36pc Assorted Truffles collection is selected as a Consumer Reports Best Buy:
      "Ultrasmooth milk and dark pieces. Great for truffle lovers."

    • Unique Sweets: Seattle Sweets

      Cooking Channel

      We visit three hot spots of Seattle's food scene beginning with Fran's Chocolates, which pioneered European-style handmade confections when it opened in 1982 and is now a beloved Seattle institution.
      Fran's items featured: Double Chocolate Figs, Gold Bars, Salted Caramels, Orange Confit, and Tas de Noix.

      Read more at: cookingchanneltv.com
  • 2013

    • Best Chocolate in the U.S.

      Food & Wine

      For more than 30 years, Seattle-based owner Fran Bigelow has been setting candy trends—she was selling miniature chocolate bars and elegant truffles before they became ubiquitous. Her sweets also have a very high-profile admirer: As a lover of salty-sweet desserts, one of President Obama’s favorite indulgences is Fran’s Smoked Salt Caramels—buttery caramels coated in milk chocolate and sprinkled with smoked sea salt.

      Read more at: foodandwine.com
    • Food Factory: Not Tonight Josephine

      Food Network

      Featuring Fran's Smoked Salt Caramels and how they are made:
      "Bold sea salt enhances the sinfully sweet flavor of irresistible caramel to produce a presidential bonbon."

      Read more at: foodnetwork.ca
    • Best Chocolate Shops

      Seattle Magazine

      Fran's Chocolates flagship store in the Four Seasons Hotel, just south of Pike Place Market, is Seattle's classiest chocolate spot, an elegant, cream-colored reflection of the time Bigelow spent chasing chocolate in Paris.

      Read more at: seattlemag.com
  • 2012

    • Sweet visit to Fran’s Chocolates, and a look at the ‘Seattle look’

      Seattle Times

      [W]hen Fran Bigelow invites you over to see how her caramels come together? Gimme a hairnet and step aside. Bigelow, whose salted caramels are the First Candy (President Obama has them shipped to the White House in special three- and seven-piece boxes bearing the presidential seal), is celebrating 30 years of chocolate making, for which she received a commendation from the city of Seattle, and a lifetime achievement award from the Northwest Chocolate Festival this past weekend.

      Read more at: seattletimes.com
    • A patriotic gala and a well-placed Fran’s fan

      The Seattle Times

      You must be doing something right when your signature sweet is President Obama’s favorite. But when Barefoot Contessa Ina Garten calls your caramels her “guilty food pleasure”? Nicely done, Fran Bigelow of Fran’s Chocolates.

      Read more at: seattletimes.com
    • Guilty Pleasures!

      Barefootcontessa.com

      I've tried a lot of salted caramels but I always come back to the original ones. OMG I love Fran's chocolate covered caramels with sea salt.

      Read more at: barefootcontessa.com
    • Fran's Chocolates

      Whole Story: The Official Whole Foods Market Blog

      Fran’s Chocolates isn’t just a classic local product. It’s a local – and national – treasure, too.

      Read more at: wholefoodsmarket.com
    • What To Do In Seattle This Spring

      Forbes Travel Guide

      After your visit [to the Seattle Art Museum], stop across the street at Fran’s Chocolates, located inside the...Four Seasons Hotel Seattle—the smoked salt caramels are a local favorite.

      Read more at: forbes.com
    • Best Hot Chocolate in the U.S.

      Food & Wine

      For more than 30 years, owner Fran Bigelow has been setting candy trends—she was selling miniature chocolate bars and designer truffles before they became ubiquitous. At her flagship chocolate shop in downtown Seattle, Bigelow combines steamed organic milk with dark Felchin chocolate shavings to make her signature dark hot chocolate.

      Read more at: foodandwine.com
  • 2011

    • The Best Thing I Ever Ate: Seasons Eatings

      Food Network

      On Food Network's The Best Thing I Ever Ate, Bobby Flay's favorite confection of the season is the creamy Coconut Gold Bar at Fran's Chocolates in Seattle, WA.

      Read more at: foodnetwork.com
    • Bobby's Favorite Coconut Candy

      Food Network

      It's just not the holidays until Bobby gets his coconut gold bars from Fran's Chocolates in Seattle. Known the world over for her extravagant chocolate confections, Fran hand-makes these gold-wrapped bars of creamy coconut and white chocolate. As Bobby says, they’re dangerously addictive.

      Read more at: foodnetwork.com
    • Modern Marvels: More Candy

      The History Channel H2

      Featuring Fran's Gray Salt Caramels with an in-depth look at how they are made.

    • Thanksgiving With Ina

      Good Housekeeping

      If you (Ina Garten) were invited to someone else's house for the holidays, what would you bring, and why?...You know what I love to bring? Fran's Salted Caramels; they go with any meal.

    • Holiday Gift Guide: Conquer your shopping list with 300+ original ideas

      Time Out New York

      Find wallet-friendly stocking stuffers, secret Santa goodies and giftable trinkets: Fran's Dark Chocolate Sauce.

    • Best of 2011

      Seattle Bride Magazine

      We are so lucky to have two amazing locally based companies that produce some of the most incredible confections: Fran's Chocolates...

  • 2010

    • Great Ideas: Genevieve Gorder's Party Essentials

      People Magazine

      Haute Chocolate: Offer your guests these salt-topped chocolate caramels and 'you will not only be the star of the evening, you will also be held prisoner until you tell everyone where you got them'.

    • Food We Love: Fig Heaven

      Seattle Magazine

      The double chocolate figs at Fran's are sweet dreams. On a whim, I stopped into the Fran's Chocolates Bellevue... under a glass dome-beside neat rows of the single-malt-whiskey dark chocolate truffles, the milk chocolate caramel truffles and President Obama's beloved smoked salt caramels-were four lovely double chocolate figs, pretty as a still-life painting. Their tiny, twisting stems providing dainty handles, the Calimyrna figs had been dipped in deep, dark chocolate up to their shoulders. I took one home, cut a deep slice with a sharp knife and found its insides filled with smooth chocolate ganache. Stunning. Still, next time I'll be better prepared: A sip of port would tip the scales all the way to heavenly.

    • Sweeter Treats: Because a pillowcase full of Milky Ways is a snooze

      Wall Street Journal

      Fran's Chocolate GoldBites: Seattle chocolatier Fran Bigelow became famous for making salted caramel a culinary trend. Strictly for the neighborhood kids you adore.

    • Inner Circle: A roundup of smart talk, hot trends & favorite finds

      Family Circle

      A little salt with my sugar, please. 'Magic crystals: the oh-so-sublime salted caramels from Fran's Chocolates in Seattle. Yes, they ship'.

    • Best of 425: Best Candy

      425 Magazine

      Take care of your sweet tooth with truffles, bars, gift sets and more at Fran's Chocolates. And don't miss the gray & smoked salt caramels. They are to-die-for delicious.

    • President Obama's sweet tooth boosts export of salt from Wales

      The Times, United Kingdom

      Salt from Wales used to make President Obama's favorite caramel has helped to boost British food export figures for the fifth consecutive year. The President's passion for Smoked Salt Caramels produced by the artisan confectioner Fran's Chocolates of Seattle... ...only the Oak Smoked Salt produced by the Anglesey Sea Salt Company, taken from the sea around the North Wales Island and then smoked on Welsh oak, provides the mellow taste needed for the caramel.

    • The Tastemakers: Culinary Artisans

      Martha Stewart Living

      Culinary artisans who are putting a modern spin on traditional methods and turning out extraordinary food across America: 'Why we love these caramels: Sea salt enhances the sweet, buttery flavors of the caramel and chocolate, and the packaging is equally alluring. No detail is overlooked'.

    • Tastemaker: Ina Garten

      Town & Country

      Garten's candy of choice, dark-chocolate-covered caramels with sea salt from Fran's Chocolates.

  • 2009

    • Inside the Obama White House: Brian Williams Reports, Part One

      NBC

      "These [boxes] are Fran's Chocolates from Seattle, the President's favorite from the campaign trail."

    • The Salty-Sweet Smell of Success: A Completely Delicious Family Business

      Edible Seattle

      Another reason their chocolates are so special could be the exceptional care with which they are made. The caramel is cooked in small batches, then each candy is put in a little paper cup, packaged, and dressed up with ribbons by hand.

    • Profile: Fran Flare

      Seattle Magazine

      Seattle chocolatier Fran Bigelow celebrates a new store and her connection to president Obama.
      On having Barack Obama as a fan: “It’s really fun…really a surprise…[it] energizes everyone else who comes in.”
      Why her custom boxes have hand-tied satin ribbons: “They should look as good as they taste.”
      Favorite chocolate accompaniment: Port.
      On whether she ever gets sick of chocolate: “No, it’s just gotten better and better.”

      Read more at: seattlemag.com
    • Cooking with Heart

      Cooking Light

      Purchase the Chocolate Sauce... and five percent of proceeds go to Neighborhood House, a nonprofit organization helping immigrants, refugees, and low-income people overcome economic, educational, and employment challenges.

    • Never Skip Dessert: The Sweet Temptations of Fran's Chocolates

      Victoria Magazine

      It is a rare gift to meet someone who truly loves their work. But when it is a family business centered around the creation of world-class chocolates and handcrafted confections, the experience is even sweeter.

    • Mariska Hargitay's Must-Haves

      Ladies' Home Journal

      Their caramels have smoked sea salt on them - how crazy is that? I eat at least five at a time and don't feel guilty.

    • Obama's Favorite Things, Smoked Salt Caramels

      CBS Early Show

    • How to Live Like... Michelle Obama

      OK! Magazine

      She indulges her sweet tooth with Fran's Gray Salt Caramels in dark chocolate.

    • Fran's Fan-In-Chief

      The Seattle Times

      Seattle-based Fran's Chocolates can't make enough salted caramels now that word is out that the incoming president loves them.

    • Obama's Favorite Candy Found in Seattle

      Evening Magazine

      While all eyes are on D.C. for the inauguration, the President Elect's stomach is looking to Seattle. We go inside the local candy store the Obama family craves.

  • 2008

    • How Caramel Developed a Taste for Salt

      The New York Times

      Although Fran's salted caramels were quite popular before word got out about the president-elect's preference, they are now the company's best sellers.

      Read more at: nytimes.com
    • Holiday Gift Guide, Offerings with Good Taste, Under $25

      USA Today

      These caramels have 'the perfect texture,' says Carey. The small bites are 'perfectly balanced with the salty and the sweet. The combination is really popular, and they are really well made.'

    • Obama family favorites likely to get brand boost

      USA Today

      For sweets, the Obama's eat Fran's Chocolates, an artisan chocolate brand from Seattle. The president-elect prefers Fran's Smoked Sea Salt Caramel in Milk Chocolate...wife Michelle prefers dark chocolate.

    • What's Barack Obama's Favorite Sweet!?

      Entertainment Tonight Online

      The Obama's treat of choice -- Fran's Chocolates! Mmm-mmm good!

    • Outstanding Fine Chocolatier - North America

      Fine Chocolate Industry

      Fran Bigelow is recognized as Outstanding Fine Chocolatier of North America.

    • 15 Woman Who Make a Difference

      Puget Sound Business Journal

      Fran Bigelow is honored as a 2008 Woman of Influence.

    • How the Obamas fell for Seattle’s Fran’s Chocolates

      Seattle PI

      It was first revealed in a New York Times article in May: Barack Obama loves Seattle-based Fran’s Chocolates. And so, apparently, does his wife. At a fundraiser in Seattle Thursday, Michelle Obama told the crowd that while her husband melts for their smoked salt caramels in milk chocolate, she prefers the dark chocolate variety.

      Read more at: blog.seattlepi.com
    • On the Court and on the Trail, One Aide Looms over Obama

      The New York Times

      As Senator Barack Obama's body man, Reggie Love makes sure the candidate has plenty of the things he likes. Here is a partial list, provided by Mr. Love: roasted almonds, pistachios, water and handmade milk chocolates from Fran's Chocolates in Seattle.

    • Obama Loves Fran's

      Nancy Leson, Seattle Times

      Barack Obama’s personal aide, Reggie Love, showed some love for Seattle in a profile in today’s New York Times by noting that when it comes to must-have munchies, Obama’s a big fan of Fran’s Chocolates.

      Read more at: seattletimes.com
    • Pass the Chocolate

      Jeopardy, NBC

      Jeopardy's $800 question featured Fran's Gray Salt Caramels:
      "Fran's Chocolates of Seattle makes delectable caramels topped with the gray sea type of this"

    • Treats Online

      Forbes Small Business

      Fran Bigelow traveled around Europe taste-testing chocolate before developing her own cocoa. Fran's recipe, a blend of Venezuelan dark chocolate and cocoa butter, won a gold medal at the 2007 Fancy Food Show in New York City.

    • Mail-Order Truffles "Highly Recommended"

      Cook's Illustrated.com

      A single chocolatier, Fran's, offered a flawless package. The box was elegant and classy. Our tasters loved the chocolates, describing them as 'complex,' 'rich,' 'luscious but not too sweet,' and 'intense.' This is an impressive gift.

    • Sweets for the Suites: Four Seasons to include Fran's Chocolates

      The Seattle Times

      Four Seasons hotel and Private Residences Seattle have chosen local culinary icon Fran's Chocolates for the retail space. Fran's is all about quality, personalized service and luxury, like the Four Seasons Hotel and Residences will be.

    • Seattle's chocolate is golden these days

      Seattle PI

      Chocolatier magazine once credited Fran Bigelow as being the person who "singlehandedly stirred up an American chocolate revolution" with the handmade, small-batch creations she began making in Seattle in 1982. Bigelow has not rested on her laurels. Though her Gold Bar may still be the quintessential upscale candy bar, Fran's has added 21st-century creations such as salt caramels that Gourmet magazine said have "spoiled us for life" and a drinking chocolate that won nationwide gold. Bigelow is still involved in daily operations but her daughter, Andrina, has taken over as CEO and her son, Dylan, is now production manager.

      Read more at: seattlepi.com
  • 2007

    • Christopher Kimball's Mostly Practical 2007 Holiday Gift List

      Cook's Illustrated.com

      These wonderful salted caramels from Fran's Chocolates were the hit of the Kimball Christmas season last year. Salt and caramel are a phenomenal combination.

    • Cookies to Go

      House and Garden Magazine

      For busy people with lofty standards... Mint Cookie Fixation from Fran's Chocolates in Seattle delivers crisp chocolate shortbread covered in dark chocolate, with a peppermint finish.

    • Big Bite, Best (Hot Chocolate) with Milk

      Rachael Ray Magazine

      Of the 24 hot chocolates we sampled that call for milk, Fran's 'tastes the most like melted chocolate,' according to the judges. 'It's nearly as rich as ganache one taster gushed, suggesting that we pour it over a slice of cake.'

    • Everyone Else

      BluePrint Magazine

      The happiest marriage of salty and sweet since Reese's Peanut Butter Cups - and more sophisticated, to boot.

    • Unwrapped: Sweet and Salty

      Food Network

      Have a craving for something sweet and a little salty? Join host Marc Summers as he discovers treats with the best of both worlds.

      Read more at: foodnetwork.com
    • 2007 sofiTM Award Winner: Fran's Dark Hot Chocolate

      Specialty Food Association

      Fran's Chocolates wins the 2007 sofiTM Award in the Outstanding Hot Beverage category for our Dark Hot Chocolate.

      Read more at: specialtyfood.com
    • 2007 sofiTM Finalist: Milk Chocolate Hazelnut Diamonds

      Specialty Food Association

      Fran's Chocolates is a 2007 sofiTM Award Silver Finalist in the Outstanding Chocolate category for our Milk Chocolate Hazelnut Diamonds.

      Read more at: specialtyfood.com
    • Can you suggest some sweet treats to give as a gift?

      In Style Magazine

      Chocolate is always good, but be inventive: Calista Flockhart gave Harrison Ford chocolate-covered caramels with sea salt from Fran's Chocolates.

    • Chocolates for your sweet: Dandy Candy

      Consumer Reports

      Our tasters identified eight of the most delectable gift-boxed confections you'll find. For traditionalists: Fran's Assorted Truffles Collection.

  • 2006

    • How to Ensure a Sincere Thank You

      The New York Times

      For the sake of science, I opened the box, sniffed the caramels and then bit into one. It tasted unimaginably delicious in a way that was totally unexpected - a salty, deeply browned sugar way - and I was naturally prompted to eat a second piece. Just to confirm my first impression.
      As someone with a long history of giving bad gifts, I am always searching for no-fail gifts that I can buy online to send to anyone and everyone. Now that I knew the caramels existed, I decided to buy them and send them to everyone I know.

      Read more at: nytimes.com
    • Sweet Temptations: A Rich Selection

      Forbes Life

      A Rich Selection: Fran's Gray and Smoked Salt Caramels. The most refined.

      Read more at: forbes.com
    • The Way We Eat: Salt With a Deadly Weapon

      The New York Times Magazine

      In 2001, Fran Bigelow, a chocolate maker in Seattle, was looking for a new garnish for her chocolate-covered caramels when she tried some of the gray salt she had been seeing in restaurants... “The salt pushes the flavors forward, giving it more depth,” she told me. Once people experience it, they rarely go back.

      Read more at: nytimes.com
    • Fran's Chocolates - Our Interview with Fran Bigelow

      Ecole Chocolat

      Fran’s Chocolates is a Seattle institution. Owner Fran Bigelow, son Dylan and daughter Andrina continuously win awards for their chocolates. Beautiful packaging reflects the quality and craftsmanship of the chocolates inside.

      Read more at: ecolechocolat.com
    • The O List: Salt of the Earth

      Oprah Magazine

      I can't decide whether I prefer the milk chocolate caramels with a sprinkling of smoked salt or the dark chocolate caramels with a pinch of gray sea salt. All I know is that a little bit of salt brings out the sweet in both.

  • 2005

    • Good Living: Gifts

      Gourmet Magazine

      Mingling dark chocolate with flashes of salty and sweet, the gray sea-salt caramels from Fran's Chocolates disappear quickly. Almost too pretty to open, each box is sealed with a delicate satin bow, making this gift a feast for the eyes as well.

    • 2005 NASFT Award Winner: Fran's Smoked Salt Caramels

      National Association of the Specialty Food Trade (NASFT)

      Fran's Chocolates wins the 2005 NASFT Award in the Outstanding Confection category for our Smoked Salt Caramels.

    • Pure Chocolate Nominated for James Beard Foundation Award

      James Beard Foundation

      Fran's cookbook Pure Chocolate is nominated for the 2005 James Beard Award in the Baking and Desserts category.

      Read more at: jamesbeard.org
    • Pure Chocolate Nominated for IACP Cookbook Award

      The International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP)

      Fran's cookbook Pure Chocolate is nominated for the 2005 IACP Cookbook Award.

  • 2004

    • The Very Best Cookbooks of 2004

      Food & Wine

      Fran Bigelow has owned the celebrated Fran's Chocolates in Seattle for 20 years, but this is her first cookbook. A self-described purist, she says she pares away sugar and other ingredients that might "distract" from "the pure, clean flavor of chocolate" in desserts that range from soft, chewy Pure Chocolate Chunk Cookies to an insanely rich Princess Pudding made with semisweet chocolate and topped with Cappuccino Whipped Cream. Along with recipes that run the gamut from easy to tricky, you'll find inspiring photos, sources, lists of equipment and useful advice on working with chocolate.

      Read more at: foodandwine.com
    • Pure Chocolate: Divine Desserts and Sweets from the Creator of Fran's Chocolates

      People Magazine

      Could any reader resist this book's blowsy charms? Created by the chocolatier who blazed a trail in Seattle in 1982 by opening her European-style Fran's Chocolate boutique, these wickedly rich recipes are accompanied by food-porn style shots of pots de crème, Triple Chocolate Pyramids and White-Chocolate Crème Citron Tarts. The level of difficulty ranges from kid-simple to challenging, but there's something here for every cook... Whether it’s Gold Bar Brownies—littered with chocolate chunks and infused with caramel sauce—her lascivious Chocolate-Stuffed Figs or her intense White-Chocolate Espresso Semifreddo, these confections will haunt your dreams.

      Read more at: people.com
  • 2003

    • Editor's Pick: Crunch Time

      Food & Wine

      [Fran's] latest confection, Fran's Spiced Macadamia Nuts, will surely spawn imitators as well. Inspired by her love of Spanish spices, Bigelow caramelizes macadamia nuts, coats them with hot smoked paprika, chile powder and kosher salt, then dips them in dark chocolate before dusting them with cocoa powder

      Read more at: foodandwine.com
  • 2002

    • Good Living: Seaside Sweets

      Gourmet Magazine

      We've all had our share of chocolate-covered caramels, but when Fran's Gray Salt Caramel creations showed up at the office one day, it was as though nobody had seen the things before. Unlike other caramels topped with sea salt (they're all the rage in France), Fran's - smothered in dark chocolate and graced with a few delicate sprinkles hand-picked from the coast of Brittany - taste of fresh butter and the sea. Now we've been spoiled for life.

    • Food Finds: Seattle

      Food Network

      Try a variety of candy treats in Seattle from Nutty Mountain Madness at Reward Specialty Foods to Fran's Chocolates, rated the best overall chocolate in America by the Book of Chocolate.

      Read more at: foodnetwork.com
  • 2001

    • Chocolate Champions: Best New Chocolate Drinks

      Food & Wine

      Fran Bigelow of Fran's Chocolates in Seattle chips tiny morsels directly from blocks of high-quality dark Belgian chocolate for her Premium Shave Chocolate. Mixed with hot milk, it produces a rich and velvety bittersweet drink that's a giant step up from instant cocoa.

      Read more at: foodandwine.com
    • Ten of our Favorite Artisan Chocolatiers

      Chocolatier

      According to most chocolate artisans, 18 years ago master chocolatier Fran Bigelow single-handedly stirred up an American chocolate revolution by creating small batches of handmade, hand-piped, and hand-trimmed chocolates that elevated our national taste-consciousness to new heights.

  • 1997

    • Cooking with... Fran Bigelow

      Seattle Homes and Lifestyles

      Willy Wonka has nothing on Fran Bigelow, whose Capitol Hill 'Laboratoire du Chocolate' is the grown-up version of author Roald Dahl's chocolate lover's dream. At Fran's, the combination of craftsmanship and high-quality ingredients has turned what was once a tiny two-person shop into a nationally renowned chocolate company whose founder has been heralded - in the Book of Chocolate - as 'the best overall Chocolatier in the United States.'

  • 1996

    • Building a Business with Bars of Gold

      The New York Times

      It's 10 A.M., and Fran Bigelow, the owner of Fran's Chocolates in Seattle, knows where her caramel is. As it is every weekday morning, the fragrant, thick, amber nut-studded mixture is about to be poured from its copper caldron onto a vast worktable, where it will be scored and, once cool, cut into tiny bricks. The caramel, enrobed in chocolate, is the heart of Fran's Gold Bars, the little candy bars that have become the company's most popular confection.

      Read more at: nytimes.com
    • The Book of Chocolate

      Flammarion

      At the forefront is Fran Bigelow. Today, she is the country's best all around chocolate maker, and the taste of her creations is invariably pleasing without being overwhelming.