BREAKING: "How the Obamas fell for Seattle's Fran's Chocolates"
It was first revealed in a New York Times article in May: Barack Obama loves Seattle-based Fran's Chocolates.Howie P.S.: In other news, "Obama in Afghanistan."
And so, apparently, does his wife.
At a fundraiser in Seattle Thursday, Michelle Obama told the crowd that while her husband melts for their smoked salt caramels in milk chocolate, she prefers the dark chocolate variety.
Who got the Obamas hooked on Fran's? The same person who keeps them well supplied - Seattle businesswoman Cynthia Stroum.
"It's become our shtick," said Stroum, lead fundraiser for Obama's national finance committee. "He sees me and before he even says hello, he puts out his hand - 'OK, where are they?' "
It all started a year and a half ago, at a Seattle campaign stop. To welcome the candidate to the Emerald City, Stroum put together a welcome basket. In went a box of her favorite Fran's milk chocolate salted caramels.
"He had it backstage before he came out to make his speech," she said. "As he was entering the stage, he saw me and whispered in my ear, 'Oh my, what were those? Those are phenomenal. I want more.' So that became my little treat for him."
It wasn't too long before Stroum learned of Michelle's fondness for dark chocolate. Now, not an event goes by where Stroum doesn't greet the Obamas with their new favorites. She gave Michelle another box yesterday.
"The competition is fierce," Stroum said. "'Cause (Barack) doesn't like to share them. The Secret Service started bugging me for them."
Fran Bigelow, founder of Fran's, got to meet Michelle Obama at Thursday's fundraiser. She also contributed to the campaign, Stroum said.
"Michelle was more excited about meeting her than anybody else," she said.
P.S. - According to Stroum, Michelle Obama sent Fran's caramels to Barbara Walters and the cast of "The View" as a thank you for her recent appearance. They sent a note back, raving.
P.P.S. - Fran's Sean Seedlock today confirmed what we all suspected - the Obamas' public patronage has boosted sales of those salted caramels.