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Celebrating Women's History Month

March is Women’s History Month – A time to reflect and celebrate the often-overlooked impact women have made to culture, business, and society as a whole. This year, we’re proud to feature five local businesswomen and their contributions to our local communities. You can find their beautiful and delicious products on the shelves at Bartell Drugs.

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Fran's Chocolates logo

Fran Bigelow

President & Founder at Fran’s Chocolates

Fueled with a vision to create a truly satisfying chocolate experience, Fran’s is proud to celebrate their 40th Anniversary. Over the years, Fran has learned the power of nurturing a shared vision by all employees in her company.

Fran’s advice for others considering starting their own business is that truly loving what you do makes it easier to maintain the excitement, focus, and enthusiasm for success.

Fran has done such a great job of making that excitement and enthusiasm contagious that both of her children have decided to join the company, ensuring that her vision and legacy of gourmet chocolate lives on.

Fran’s Chocolates is proud to support and partner with Neighborhood House, Safe Crossings, and the YWCA.

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Rosanna logo

Rosanna

President & Art Director, Rosanna Inc.

This Portland, OR, native attended an entrepreneur fair in Seattle in 1979 where the idea for Rosanna Inc. was born. She spent some time in Italy where she had the opportunity to work directly with artisans and create her first pieces of hand painted pottery. Once she had her first set of wares completed, Rosanna invited several PNW retailers to her home for a viewing. Fast-forward to 2022, and Rosanna is now an internationally acclaimed brand with a timeless aesthetic.

Rosanna believes deeply in women’s amazing capacity to nurture and create. She continually shares this belief, encouraging all women to explore their creativity in their work and daily life.

Rosanna also invests in the future of our community by working closely with local and national non-profit groups such as the Millionaire Club Charity (Uplift Northwest), Northwest Harvest, Providence Regina House, Goodwill, The Salvation Army, American Red Cross, Seattle Symphony, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research, and Society of St. Vincent de Paul.

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Seattle Chocolate logo

Jean Thompson

Owner & CEO, Seattle Chocolate

One of a handful of original investors in Seattle Chocolate in the early 90s, Jean stepped up as CEO following the 2001 Nisqually Earthquake after the company’s building was destroyed. Though she had little industry experience, her love of chocolate and determination grew the company into what it is today. Jean and the Seattle Chocolate team are constantly pushing the boundaries of the chocolate industry with innovative flavor combinations.

For those who are just starting their own business journeys, Jean says, “Dig in and be patient with yourself. Decide what you want from your life or job and set your unique path to it. It’s sure to be a winding road but it’ll be a great ride.”

Jean and Seattle Chocolate have always believed in cultivating a sense of empowerment in girls and women. Through their Seattle Chocolate X Girls Inc., 10% of net profits are donated to programs that support women and girls in our local communities.

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Skinny Dipped logo

Val and Breezy Griffith

Founders, SkinnyDipped Almonds

Together with two of Breezy’s best friends, what began with a line of chocolate-covered almonds has now grown into a flourishing business with a variety of chocolate-covered nuts, dark and milk chocolate peanut butter cups and more.

The SkinnyDipped creators believe in the power of lifting other women up, empowering ideas, and believing in building a better world – together.

SkinnyDipped is proud to support the creation of much-needed schools in Ivory Coast through their give-back program Brick by Brick; Brick by Brick funds a women-led recycling initiative that converts plastic waste into sturdy bricks used to build schools in cacao-based communities.

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