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.
Bigelow’s daughter, Andrina, now serves as CEO; her son, Dylan, is head chocolatier, overseeing creation of confections like dark chocolate peanut butter cups, above, which use organic peanut butter from CB’s Nuts in Kingston, and smoked-salt milk chocolate caramels, left, a fave of former President Barack Obama.
Employing from 75 to 85, depending on the season, Fran’s makes certified fair trade chocolates in Georgetown and sells them in stores at the factory and in downtown Seattle, downtown Bellevue, University Village and online.
Scroll through bonus photos from the shoot at Fran's Chocolates below, or click through the slideshow above. See more Made in Washington photo galleries here.