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The new Four Seasons Seattle, which opened this November, has a lot going for it, including a prime location near the newly renovated Seattle Art Museum, clear views of Puget Sound, and on the ground floor, the first downtown location of Fran’s Chocolates. For more than 20 years, Fran Bigelow, a Seattle native, has satisfied many a sweet tooth — among them, those of Barack and Michelle Obama (he favors the smoked salt caramels in milk chocolate, while she prefers the dark chocolate variety).

There are two more shops in the Seattle area; nationwide, her products retail at stores such as Whole Foods, Bloomingdale’s, Balducci’s, and Sur la Table. In addition to the usual confections, the new store, designed in the vein of a classic Parisian chocolaterie, will offer espresso drinks, hot chocolate, and bottles of port, as well as desserts from Bigelow’s book, Pure Chocolate, that have not been sold at any of her shops since the original location closed a decade ago. Assorted truffles and caramels $18–$48/box.

—Reported by Stephanie Todaro in the Winter 2008/09 issue of Sherman's Travel magazine

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