news

  • Fran's Chocolates featured on the TODAY Show
  • TODAY Show
  • February 2015
  • 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 here
  • 2014 Holiday Gift Guide
  • People Magazine
  • November 2014
  • 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
  • October 2014
  • 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 the article on king5.com »
  • Fran's Chocolates relocates to tasty new Georgetown digs
  • The Seattle Times
  • September 2014
  • 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 the article on seattletimes.com »
  • Fran's Chocolates moves into historic Georgetown brewery building
  • Puget Sound Business Journal
  • September 2014
  • 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 the article on bizjournals.com »
  • Bits & Bites
  • The Wall Street Journal
  • April 2014
  • 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.
  • read the article on online.wsj.com »
  • Fine Dining Chef is a Sweet Addition to Fran's Chocolates
  • The Seattle Times
  • February 2014
  • "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 the article on blogs.seattletimes.com »
  • 36 Reasons Seattle Wins At Life
  • The Huffington Post
  • February 2014
  • "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 the article on huffingtonpost.com »
  • Wafu Sohonke
  • TV Osaka
  • February 2014
  • 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
  • February 2014
  • Fran's Chocolates 36 piece 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
  • January 2014
  • "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."
  • read the article on cookingchanneltv.com »
  • Best Chocolate in the U.S.
  • Food & Wine
  • August 2013
  • 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 the article on foodandwine.com »
  • Food Factory: Not Tonight Josephine
  • Food Network
  • June 2013
  • 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."
  • Best Chocolate Shops
  • Seattle Magazine
  • February 2013
  • "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 the article on seattlemag.com »
  • Guilty Pleasures!
  • Barefootcontessa.com
  • September 2012
  • "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 the article on barefootcontessa.com »
  • The Best Thing I Ever Ate: Seasons Eatings
  • Food Network
  • December 2011
  • 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 the article on foodnetwork.com »
  • Moderns Marvels - More Candy
  • The History Channel H2
  • December 2011
  • Featuring Fran's Gray Salt Caramels with an in-depth look at how they are made.
  • Thanksgiving With Ina
  • Good Housekeeping
  • November 2011
  • "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
  • November 2011
  • "Find wallet-friendly stocking stuffers, secret Santa goodies and giftable trinkets: Fran's Dark Chocolate Sauce."
  • Best of 2011
  • Seattle Bride Magazine
  • October 2011
  • "We are so lucky to have two amazing locally based companies that product some of the most incredible confections: Fran's Chocolates...".
  • Great Ideas: Genevieve Gorder's Party Essentials
  • People Magazine
  • December 2010
  • "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', insists Gorder."
  • Food We Love: Fig Heaven
  • Seattle Magazine
  • October 2010
  • "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
  • October 2010
  • "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
  • September 2010
  • "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
  • July 2010
  • "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
  • April 2010
  • "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
  • April 2010
  • "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
  • January 2010
  • "Garten's candy of choice, dark-chocolate-covered caramels with sea salt from Fran's Chocolates."
  • Inside the Obama White House: Brian Williams Reports, Part One
  • NBC
  • June 2009
  • "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
  • May 2009
  • "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."
  • Cooking with Heart
  • Cooking Light
  • February 2009
  • "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
  • February 2009
  • "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
  • January 2009
  • "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
  • January 2009
  • How to Live Like... Michelle Obama
  • OK! Magazine
  • January 2009
  • "She indulges her sweet tooth with Fran's Gray Salt Caramels in dark chocolate."
  • Fran's Fan-In-Chief
  • The Seattle Times
  • January 2009
  • "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
  • January 2009
  • "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."
  • How Caramel Developed a Taste for Salt
  • The New York Times
  • December 2008
  • "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."
  • Holiday Gift Guide, Offerings with Good Taste, Under $25
  • USA Today
  • December 2008
  • "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
  • November 2008
  • "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 ($24 for a 16-piece box); wife Michelle prefers dark chocolate."
  • What's Barack Obama's Favorite Sweet!?
  • Entertainment Tonight Online
  • November 2008
  • "The Obama's treat of choice -- Fran's Chocolates! Mmm-mmm good!"
  • Outstanding Fine Chocolatier - North America
  • Fine Chocolate Industry
  • November 2008
  • Fran Bigelow is recognized as Outstanding Fine Chocolatier of North America.
  • 15 Woman Who Make a Difference
  • Puget Sound Business Journal
  • November 2008
  • Fran Bigelow is honored as a 2008 Woman of Influence.
  • On the Court and on the Trail, One Aide Looms over Obama
  • The New York Times
  • May 2008
  • "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."
  • Pass the Chocolate
  • Jeopardy, NBC
  • March 2008
  • $800 question featured Fran's Gray Salt Caramels
  • Treats Online
  • Forbes Small Business
  • February 2008
  • "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
  • February 2008
  • "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,' 'lucious 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
  • February 2008
  • "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."
  • Christopher Kimball's Mostly Practical 2007 Holiday Gift List
  • Cook's Illustrated.com
  • December 2007
  • "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
  • December 2007
  • "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
  • December 2007
  • "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
  • November 2007
  • "The happiest marriage of salty and sweet since Reese's Peanut Butter Cups - and more sophisticated, to boot."
  • Unwrapped: Sweet and Salty
  • Food Network
  • September 2007
  • Can you suggest some sweet treats to give as a gift?
  • In Style Magazine
  • May 2007
  • "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
  • February 2007
  • "Our tasters identified eight of the most delectable gift-boxed confections you'll find. For traditionalists: Fran's Assorted Truffles Collection."
  • Sweet Temptations
  • Forbes Life
  • December 2006
  • "A Rich Selection: Fran's Gray and Smoked Salt Caramels. The most refined."
  • How to Ensure a Sincere Thank You
  • he New York Times
  • December 2006
  • "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."
  • The Way We Eat: Salt With a Deadly Weapon
  • The New York Times Magazine
  • November 2006
  • "Leave it to the Americans to take such destruction one step further, by pairing it with chocolate. 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.'"
  • The O List: Salt of the Earth
  • Oprah Magazine
  • May 2006
  • "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."
  • Good Living: Gifts
  • Gourmet Magazine
  • October 2005
  • "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."
  • The Very Best Cookbooks of 2004
  • Food & Wine
  • December 2004
  • "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."
  • Pure Chocolate: Divine Desserts and Sweets from the Creator of Fran's Chocolates
  • People Magazine
  • November 2004
  • "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."
  • Editor's Pick: Crunch Time
  • Food & Wine
  • February 2003
  • "[Fran's] latest confection, Fran's Spiced Macadamia Nuts, will surely spawn imitators as well. Inspired by her love of Spanish spices, Bigelow caramelized macadamia nuts, coats them with hot smoked paprika, chili powder and salt, then dips them in dark chocolate before dusting them with cocoa powder."
  • Good Living: Seaside Sweets
  • Gourmet Magazine
  • August 2002
  • "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."
  • Best New Chocolate Drinks
  • Food and Wine
  • December 2001
  • "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."
  • Ten of our Favorite Artisan Chocolatiers
  • Chocolatier
  • October 2001
  • "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."
  • Cooking with... Fran Bigelow
  • Seattle Homes and Lifestyles
  • January 1997
  • "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.'"
  • Building a Business with Bars of Gold
  • The New York Times
  • August 1996
  • "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."
  • The Book of Chocolate
  • Flammarion
  • January 1996
  • "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."

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