With a box of Frango chocolates you always know what you’re going to get—confections brimming with meticulous craftsmanship, delicious flavor and a cherished legacy that started over a century ago.
Today, Macy’s offers a variety of Frango chocolates as well as Frango Flavored Coffees online and in over 350 Macy’s stores, including its flagship locations in Seattle and Chicago—the two American cities where the chocolates were first made and that have the deepest brand heritage.
Frango’s Venerable History
Like so much else at Macy’s, Frango products delight the senses while preserving and expanding iconic traditions. Ever since their inception and throughout a variety of incarnations, Frango chocolates have been embraced and loved by multiple generations of customers.
Frango launched in 1918 as a frozen dessert available in maple and orange flavors in the tea room of the Seattle-based Frederick & Nelson department store. Unlike ice cream, the Frango dessert was known for a flaky consistency that had to be eaten with a fork. Over time, the Frango name was extended to ice-cream sodas, pies and milkshakes sold at the store.
In 1927, Ray Alden, who ran Frederick & Nelson’s in-store candy kitchen, developed the Frango mint meltaway chocolate, inspired by the frozen dessert. Alden's secret recipe incorporated chocolate made from African and South American cocoa beans, triple-distilled Oregon peppermint oil and 40% local butter.
The Frango mints were introduced to the Chicago market in 1929, a few months after the Marshall Field’s department store acquired Frederick & Nelson. Using Frederick & Nelson’s Seattle recipe, they were able to bring the delectable mint chocolates to the windy city, which helped fuel Marshall Field’s sales and uplifted the dragging spirits of residents as the Great Depression had just struck. It wasn’t long before the store’s candy kitchen began producing its own Midwestern version of the Frango Chocolate recipe, establishing what came to be a much beloved Chicago tradition.
In the 1940s, as Frederick & Nelson and Marshall Field’s expanded operations across the country, many more people came to know and love Frango chocolates. Viewing creative window displays filled with Frango boxes turned into a holiday tradition for people across the country and, as they purchased and shared the one-of-a-kind chocolates to mark both everyday and special occasions, the treats developed a fan base of millions.
Frango and Macy’s
By 1992, Frederick’s had changed hands several times and eventually closed. But Seattle’s civic leaders made sure that Frango chocolates would continue to be sold in the northwest through Seattle’s remaining full-line department store, The Bon Marche.
In 2003, The Bon Marche became a Macy’s store and in 2006, so did Chicago’s Marshall Field’s. Through its mergers, Macy’s took ownership of Frango and continued to preserve the Frango traditions in both Seattle and Chicago. Macy’s also expanded the Frango legacy through broad online distribution on macys.com.
In January, 2017, Garrett Brands acquired Frango from Macy’s Inc., but Macy’s continues to sell Frango’s mouthwatering products.
A Tale of Two Cities’ Chocolates:
Seattle and Chicago
Frango products in Seattle and Chicago remain distinct from one another to this day–Frango candies sold in the Northwest still rely on the original Frederick & Nelson recipe; those sold in the Midwest and Macy’s online rely on the Marshall Field’s recipe, which has been modified several times.
Frango packaging also distinguishes the products in the two regions. Midwestern Frango chocolates and Macy’s online products are sold in traditional flat candy boxes, with the chocolates set in candy papers. Northwest Frango chocolates are individually wrapped and sold in distinctive hexagon-shaped boxes. Tins are also available in both regions and online. (Originally, the chocolates were sold in round tins, but World War II forced a switch to cardboard containers.)
Visitors to the Macy’s State Street store in Chicago will find a dedicated Frango Cafe on the seventh floor near The Walnut Room and Seven on State food court. On the menu: shakes and sundaes, along with a selection of soups, salads and sandwiches. Don't leave without trying the famous Frango Mint Chocolate Ice Cream Pie! In addition, the Frango Cafe features a gift shop devoted to Frango chocolates.
A World of Mouthwatering Flavor
Frango’s delicious chocolate collections – including its core flavor products, original Chicago recipes and Frederick & Nelson recipes – bring joy to consumers, especially for their most special occasions.
Macy’s sells Frango assortments of different sizes, including special holiday wrapped boxes. Among the chocolate products currently available: A Limited Edition Candy Cane Box, Mint Trio Box, Holiday Wrapped Sea Salt Caramel Box, Holiday Decorated Milk Mint Box, Holiday Wrapped Raspberry Box, Holiday Decorated Dark Mint Box, Milk Toffee Box, Milk and Dark Sea Salt Chocolates, Limited Edition Cookies ‘N Milk Color-Me-In Box, Dark Raspberry Box and Dark Cocoa Box.
The chocolates have served as thoughtful gifts for decades—be sure to pick some up on your next visit to Macy’s.