• 2024

    • The most indulgent ways to spend Valentine's Day around Seattle

      Seattle Refined

      It's classic for a reason. Who wouldn't love a bouquet of red roses and big box of chocolates? But this isn't any old flower + candy combo, no. We're going big. ...Pair flowers with a massive assortment from Seattle's own Fran's Chocolates. The Champagne Box contains 144 pieces of decadent truffles and caramels dipped in both dark and milk chocolates.

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    • As UW Huskies head to national championship, Seattle businesses look to cash in

      The Seattle Times

      For Husky fans, [the College Football Playoff National Championship Game] has been a long time coming... From chocolate gift boxes to Husky gear and flights, demand is high over this historic moment... Fran’s Chocolates CEO Andrina Bigelow said she expects sales of the company’s UW-themed gift boxes to increase “a lot” before, during and after the game, especially if the Huskies win against the University of Michigan’s Wolverines... Seattle-based Fran’s has sold the UW-themed boxes for 12 years... Fran Bigelow, who started the business, is a University of Washington alum. Andrina Bigelow is also involved with the university, sitting on the board at the Arthur W. Buerk Center for Entrepreneurship of the Foster School of Business. “We go way back and are very proud to have the University of Washington in our backyard,” Andrina Bigelow said.

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  • 2023

    • The 13 best chocolates in 2023, tested and reviewed by a professional chocolatier

      Business Insider

      Best for caramel lovers: Fran's Chocolates The caramels from Fran's Chocolates possess everything a caramel lover seeks in the perfect bite: pull, chew, and just a touch of salt.

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    • Gift Guide: 10 delicious gift ideas for the Seattle foodie in your life


      Fran’s Chocolates are a classic Seattle sweet. From milk chocolate to dark chocolate, enrobed fruits to salted caramel, the local chocolatier has something for everyone making it a great gift for friends near and far.

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    • Passport to the Northwest: Learning how to make delicious treats with Fran's Chocolates

      Fox13 Seattle

      Fox13's Carly Henderson got to learn how to make delicious treats with Fran's Chocolates.

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    • Where to Satiate Your Sweet Tooth in Seattle

      The Stranger

      The melt-in-your-mouth smoked-salt caramels that Fran’s is known for are every bit as delicious as Barack Obama has claimed. The family-owned confectionery is nationally recognized and is named for the woman who’s owned and operated it since 1982, Fran Bigelow (she was inducted into the Specialty Food Association’s Hall of Fame in 2018). While you can order whatever your heart desires online, we suggest picking up your caramels, truffles, gold bars, or chocolate-covered fruits and nuts at any one of the four boutique shops.

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    • The 11 best chocolates you can buy, according to a professional chocolatier


      Setting out to name the best caramel chocolate was no easy task, but I was up to the challenge. Fran's Chocolates caramels offer the "pull," deliberate chew, and strategic salting that a great caramel should possess.

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    • The 9 Best Gourmet Chocolates to Buy Right Now

      Robb Report

      Most boxes of chocolate are likely to include at least one or two caramel options. But for the true caramel lover, you can’t do much better than Fran’s. The company’s gray salt caramels (dipped in dark chocolate) and smoked salt caramels (wrapped in milk chocolate) are like a better Milky Way, as one of my colleagues put it (without the nougat, though). The caramel isn’t too sweet and it meshes beautifully with the delicate chocolate coating.

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    • Seattle Food Guide (A Local’s 33 Best Dishes & Experiences)

      Travel Lemming

      Fran Bigelow started Fran’s Chocolates in Seattle in 1982. Since then, the brand has grown and you can find its chocolates, caramels, and more all over the country. Former president Barack Obama even claimed that Fran’s made his favorite chocolate caramels.
      Because of this notoriety, it’s easy to find Fran’s Chocolates in specialty stores throughout Seattle. Visit the boutique locations in Georgetown, Downtown Seattle, and the University District. This way, you’ll get the widest selection of chocolate treats.
      Just make sure you try the bestselling salted caramel chocolate that the brand is so well known for.

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    • Ina Garten's 14 Favorite Go-To Foods


      With nearly 100 dessert recipes, the Barefoot Contessa sure must have a sweet tooth. To quell her sugar pangs, Garten loves the Seattle-based artisan confection brand Fran's Chocolates. From bars and peanut butter cups to truffles and chocolate-covered fruit, each confection is handcrafted for a premium experience. Although their tasty treats are made for any occasion, Garten especially loves giving them as gifts.

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    • The Best Chocolates For Valentine’s Day To Spoil Your Someone Special


      [W]e found the 13 best chocolates for Valentine’s Day that’ll satisfy every sweet tooth, from lovely heart-shaped boxes to a breakable confection that’s full of surprises. If your Valentine is a fan of soft gooey caramel, this gift box by Fran’s Chocolates will deliver in its simplicity. The handmade selection includes six dark chocolate-dipped caramels finished with a pinch of gray sea salt and six milk chocolate caramels topped with sea salt smoked over Welsh oak. You’ll get a little sweet and salty in every single delicious bite...

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    • The 11 Best Ultra-Premium Chocolates to Buy Now, for Valentine’s Day and Beyond

      Robb Report

      Most boxes of chocolate are likely to include at least one or two caramel options. But for the true caramel lover, you can’t do much better than Fran’s. ...The caramel isn’t too sweet and it meshes beautifully with the delicate chocolate coating.

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    • The 27 Best Chocolate Gifts For Valentine's Day (Or Any Romantic Occasion)


      Best Caramel Chocolate: Fran's Chocolates Signature Gray & Smoked Salt Caramels

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  • 2022

    • The Craft Chocolates Ina Garten Loves To Gift

      The Daily Meal

      Garten [recommends] gifting a Thanksgiving host with a box of caramels from Fran's Chocolates to be enjoyed after dinner. Garten explains that chocolates are better than a prepared dish or other food, as she doesn't want the host to feel pressured to include her offering on the dinner table. ...The Barefoot Contessa is known for her impeccable taste, so it's easy to see why she's so enamored with this gourmet chocolate. ...From classic varieties to the gray salt caramels, the chocolates are as beautiful as they are delicious. Bigelow also takes great care in selecting the perfect packaging for her exquisite offerings, which means minimal effort on your part when it comes to holiday gift-giving.

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    • S3 Episode 6: Fran Bigelow - Sweet Talkin’

      Creativity In Captivity

      A master chocolatier who makes European-style chocolates and is recognized for igniting the artesian chocolate renaissance. Fran’s smoked salted caramels are reported to be a favorite of President Obama who frequently shared them with visitors to the White House. Fran’s passion for life underscores her appreciation of pure flavors paired with superb, fresh ingredients. Her joie d'vie and devotion to her art has been an inspiration for others. Her Gold Bars are considered the gold standard for sophisticated candy bars and are sold in specialty markets from coast to coast. She is the author of Pure Chocolate: Divine Desserts and Sweets from the Creator of Fran’s Chocolates and the owner of Fran’s Chocolates Ltd., located in Seattle and Bellevue, Washington.

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    • A Cool Recipe For Next Level S’mores

      Forbes Dining

      Fran's Dark Chocolate Sauce takes the classic s'mores to the Next Level. Seattle-based Fran’s Chocolates is probably best known for its truffles and its salted caramel chocolates — President Barak Obama’s a big fan. Yet, this famous chocolatier has a line of spectacular sauces that are well worth exploring. I first stumbled onto the Dark Chocolate Sauce when I was camping... I bought a jar and some early season strawberries and that combo was a winner. Later, I started thinking that I wanted to try bringing that sauce into the s’mores equation, smearing some on graham crackers... No shocker. That experiment was an instant hit, the rich chocolate playing off the melted marshmallow. Maybe it was a little bit messy, not that I minded licking my fingers in this case.

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    • Celebrating 40 years of Fran's Chocolates

      Puget Sound Business Journal

      Seattle-based Fran's Chocolates is 40 years old. Founder and President Fran Bigelow opened the first store at 2800 E. Madison St. in May of 1982. “I knew everyone who walked through the door,” she said. And while she loved that high-touch start, the company has stretched to four stores — three in Seattle and one in Bellevue — as well as online and a phone order business.

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    • 7 of the best gourmet chocolate shops in Seattle

      Daily Hive

      Fran’s has everything from dessert sauces to pure bars, stuffed chocolates, and gift boxes. A visit to Paris inspired Fran to develop a European-like passion for pure flavors and simple, yet exquisite ingredients which have led to her delicious treats today.

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  • 2021

    • Actress Hayley Law Shares 12 Unique Gift Picks You Probably Hadn't Thought of


      From shopping small to problem-solving presents, the actress — whom you probably know from Riverdale and Mark, Mary, & Other People — is sharing her best ideas.
      "I have been religiously buying chocolates from this company called Fran's. They're based in Seattle and ever since I discovered them, they are my GO-TO for any gifting occasion. Including a little gift for myself. The assorted box of truffles are heaven."

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    • Have you tried all 26 of these iconic Seattle bites?

      The Seattle PI

      For Fran's, the rumored home of Barack Obama's favorite confection (smoked salt caramels,) Fran Bigelow has dished out nationally recognized truffles encapsulating light ganache, chocolate-coated fruits and salted caramels since 1982.

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    • The 9 best places in Seattle for hot chocolate

      The Seattle PI

      Fran's dark hot chocolate is anything but basic. The 8-ounce golden tin is full of bittersweet, 68% single-origin Dominican chocolate shavings. This vegan cocoa is also certified organic and fairtrade.

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    • The 8 best chocolates in 2021, according to a professional chocolatier

      Business Insider

      The caramels from Fran's Chocolates possess everything a caramel lover seeks in the perfect bite: pull, chew, and just a touch of salt... This Seattle-based candy producer features Fair Trade certified chocolate to complement, not overshadow, the caramel's delicate yet luxurious buttery flavor. The uniformity of each morsel and consistency in salting means that each bite will be just as perfect as the last. While you can find chocolate caramels in all sorts of variety boxes, Fran's Chocolates offers box options totally committed to caramels, revealing its devotion to the craft of caramel chocolates.

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    • The Best Chocolate in America

      Food & Wine

      Maybe you're looking to trace the origins of new wave American chocolate, or perhaps you're merely hunting for some of the best chocolate in America; either search may well lead you to Fran Bigelow, who set up shop in the early 1980s, pioneering notions of fair trade and sustainability. President Obama's love of the smoked sea salt caramels is by now well-documented.

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    • A gem only for now, made by a chocolate specialty store

      Vogue Japan

      This season of fascinating chocolates offers an overwhelming selection of choices. Get the Valentine's collection that the famous chocolatier will confidently bring out!

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  • 2020

    • Calling all chocoholics: Seattle's 15 best shops for holiday confections

      Seattle P-I

      The rumored home of Barack Obama's favorite confection — smoked salt caramels — Fran Bigelow has dished out nationally-recognized truffles encapsulating light ganache, chocolate coated fruits and salted caramels since 1982.

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    • The Best Artisanal Chocolate Shops Around the World


      If you think making a pilgrimage to the Pacific Northwest for a box of chocolates is ludicrous, then you haven’t tasted Fran’s chocolate-covered salted caramels. Fran’s has been a luxury chocolatier in Seattle since 1982, and these chocolates are so sought-after that Fran’s now has four storefronts—in downtown, Bellevue, Georgetown, and University Village. While Fran’s is best known for their artful truffles and caramels, the chocolatier also makes bars, peanut butter cups, and even drinking chocolate.

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    • Thinking Outside the (Heart-Shaped) Box

      Alaska Beyond

      Fran Bigelow shares creative ways of using chocolate for Valentine's Day celebrations.

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  • 2019

    • A brief history of hot chocolate, and where to find the best cup in Seattle

      The Seattle Times, Pacific NW Magazine

      The Seattle Times shares a brief history of hot chocolate and features Fran's as a place to find pure drinking chocolate.
      "...there still beats the fierce pulse of the mighty cacao, and the more adventurous sippers might consider trying something better, something made with bars of the real stuff melted down in a fiery forge (or on the stovetop)... Such chocolate can be found in your finer coffee bars, or in places where chocolate is poured into bars and balls and wrapped up with bows, like Fran’s Chocolates...with their single-origin sipping chocolate..."

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    • Give the Gift of Chocolate

      Q13 Fox News

      Ellen Tailor of Q13 Fox News visits Fran's Chocolates in Georgetown, Seattle to share her favorite holiday gift ideas and to see how Salted Caramels and Double Chocolate Figs are made.

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    • An Eco-Friendly And Ethical Holiday Gift Guide For The Home

      Forbes Small Business

      Here’s a selection of bits and bobs for the home made by brands who are thinking outside the box, investing in more planet-friendly agriculture, supporting artisans, and working to improve their supply chains in the process. If you’re on the hunt for a small (or grand) gesture, these are companies that are committed to better business practices.
      For a hostess gift that’ll impress and please everyone’s palette, this elegant box of caramels from Seattle-based Fran’s features Fair Trade certified chocolate and smoked sea salt. It’s a crowd pleaser with an assortment of options available and made with organic ingredients.

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    • Fran Bigelow honored with "Bridge to Healing" award

      Safe Crossings Foundation

      Fran Bigelow was honored at the annual Safe Crossings Foundation luncheon with a "Bridge to Healing" award for her 30 years of supporting children who have lost a parent or sibling. "Fran Bigelow, founder of Fran’s Chocolates, is well known as an artisan, a chocolatier extraordinaire. But for grieving children needing support, she is a woman of great heart, a philanthropist."

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    • These World-Class Chocolates Will Make You a Hero This Valentine’s Day

      Robb Report

      Seattle is filled with icons: the Space Needle, Amazon, Microsoft, Jimi Hendrix, and Ken Griffey Jr. Fran Bigelow deserves to be on the list. She started her fine chocolates company in the Emerald City back in 1982 and the company has since grown into one of the country’s great chocolatiers. Everything from Fran’s is exceptional, but what really sets the place apart is their sea salt caramels. At Valentine’s Day, Fran’s Truffle & Caramel Heart Boxes come stocked with an assortment of fine truffles from milk chocolate to raspberry to oolong tea–infused. The highlight of the set is the assortment of caramels, with gray salt sourced from the coast of Brittany, and sea salt smoked over Welsh oak.

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  • 2018

    • 2018 Holiday Gift Guide: Gifts for Foodies chosen by Ina Garten

      People Magazine

      Ina Garten shares her favorite holiday gifts, Fran's Chocolates Duos: "These are my absolute favorite chocolates. I always order the duo of salted caramels and chocolate truffles."

    • 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.

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    • Seattle Week: Fran's Chocolates offers guided tasting of exquisite confections


      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.

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    • These Mother-Daughter Duos Are Food Industry Power Players


      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.

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    • 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.

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    • 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.

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    • 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.

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    • 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”...

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    • The 9 Best Chocolate Gifts for Any Occasion


      #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.

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    • 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.

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    • 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.

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  • 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.

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    • Behind the Scenes Eats - How to Make Fran's Chocolates Favorites


      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.

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    • 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.

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    • 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 to check out the next class."

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    • 15 Restaurants Ina Garten Secretly Loves


      [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.

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    • Looking For The Best Artisanal Chocolate Makers In America


      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.

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    • 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.

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    • 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.”

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    • Valentine's Day Travel Ideas in the Most Romantic Cities


      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."

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    • 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.

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  • 2016

    • Pioneer of American luxury chocolate

      Forza Style

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

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    • 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.

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    • 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.

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    • 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.

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    • 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.

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    • 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


      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."

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    • 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."

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    • The Best Valentine's Day Chocolates. According to Me.


      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.

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    • Why Does Seattle Have Such A Large Local Chocolate Industry? 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."

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    • 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.

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  • 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.

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    • 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."

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    • 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:
    • 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:
    • 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:
    • 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:
    • 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:
    • 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:
    • 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:
    • 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:
    • 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:
    • 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:
    • 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:
  • 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:
    • 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:
    • 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:
  • 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:
    • 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:
    • 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:
    • 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:
    • 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:
  • 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:
    • 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:
    • 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


      "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:
    • 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:
    • 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 Women 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:
    • 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:
    • 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"


      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:
  • 2007

    • Christopher Kimball's Mostly Practical 2007 Holiday Gift List


      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:
    • 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:
    • 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:
    • 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:
    • Sweet Temptations: A Rich Selection

      Forbes Life

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

      Read more at:
    • 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:
    • 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:
    • 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:
    • 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:
    • 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:
  • 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:
  • 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:
  • 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:
    • Ten of our Favorite Artisan Chocolatiers


      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:
    • The Book of Chocolate


      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.