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Interview with Fran’s Chocolates

Fran’s Chocolates

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

Our Interview with Fran Bigelow

What motivated you to open a chocolate business?
I was fortunate to be introduced to the magic of chocolate in France more than thirty years ago and the smell and flavor changed my life.

Did you have any formal training in chocolate making?
This interest in chocolate continued and led me to San Francisco’s California Culinary Academy, where I apprenticed with a Swiss Pastry chef in 1976. On returning to Seattle in 1980, I set about creating the company. Fran’s Chocolates debuted in 1982 featuring specialty desserts focused on chocolate and a single chocolate truffle that became the foundation for my complete line of chocolate confections.

Where do you get your inspiration for the different flavors and textures you include in your chocolates?
My goal was to create a European-style chocolate shop and to make artisan chocolates that bring out the flavor of chocolate, thus creating a pure chocolate experience. “Chocolate is the hero and all the other ingredients are there to support and highlight its taste. I am looking for flavor over sweetness, allowing the complex characteristics of the finest chocolate to envelop your palate and create a perfectly balanced taste.”

If you had to describe your product line in a couple of sentences, what would that be?
My objective has always been to provide the ultimate taste experience by cooking with only the finest ingredients in small batches, using no preservatives or artificial additives. This commitment to quality remains the guiding philosophy for the company today.

What is your personal favorite out of all the products you make and why?
My personal favorite is the bittersweet truffle. For me, this is the perfect chocolate: A thin, crisp chocolate coating that snaps as you bite into it, yielding to a meltingly smooth, deep chocolate center that dissolves on your tongue, lingers and leaves you with the pure taste of chocolate.


5900 Airport Way S
Seattle, WA 98108, US
+1 206-508-4535

University Village
2626 NE University Village
Seattle, Washington 98105

10036 Main Street
Bellevue, Washington 98004

1325 1st Ave
Seattle, WA 98101, US
+1 206-682-0168

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Photography by Jessica Washburn, Bliss Chocolatier and Ecole Chocolat

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