Top News

Jill’s Chocolates looking forward to sweet future


SYDNEY — Jill Franklin’s busy season just got a lot more hectic.

The 36-year-old mother of two, who owns and operates her own business, Jill’s Chocolates, found out two weeks ago that she’s taking her product to the Golden Globes.

It’ll be her first foray into the glitz and glamour of Hollywood, so that’s why she has to come prepared.

“I think the most stressful part would be seeing someone walk in and not know who they are,” said Franklin, in a phone interview when referencing the pre-award gifting suite she’ll be a part of during the Golden Globes, Jan. 9-11.

“I’m not very good with names. I mean, I recognize actors like Julia Roberts, Charlize Theron, Sharon Stone, Dennis Quaid … but not if it was someone lesser known.”

The gifting suite will be open to award nominees and presenters. Franklin said she’ll be given a list of 250 invitees and will seek out a Google search if she doesn’t recognize a name.

Franklin, originally from Washabuck, Victoria Co., is the latest in a list of Cape Breton entrepreneurs to be called down to Hollywood for award season.

Nathalie Dubois-Sissoko, the president and CEO of Dubois, Pelin and Associates, a California company that finds unique items for gifting suites, sent her a message via Facebook to let Franklin know she was on her way to the award show.

Franklin said the invite came totally out of the blue.

“This was not on my bucket list,” she said.

Franklin said Dubois-Sissoko wanted a gift that would be authentic and original since Hollywood stars have the financial means to buy almost anything.

“She used words like charming and chic.”

Other Cape Breton businesses to hit the Golden Globes in past years included Michique Handbags, Ancient Treasures Jewelry, and Galloping Cows.

Right now Franklin rents a space in Halifax to make her wide assortment of chocolates, which include names like Glen Breton Caramel, Peanut Butter Truffle and Dried Raspberry Medallion, and sells them on a regular basis at the Scotia Square Mall.

One of her favourite chocolates is the Seasalt Caramel. This particular chocolate flavour was launched in May 2012 with her grandfather in mind.

She said he was a fisherman who not only had a sweet tooth but also had a passion for fiddle playing, so she combined the two into the Treasures of Youth Chocolate.

On the top surface of the chocolate is the design of music notes silkscreened in cocoa butter.

This particular piece of chocolate was created as a fundraiser for a charity set up by the Nova Scotia Highland Village Society.

The charity, Treasures of Youth, was founded in memory of Franklin’s grandfather a year before she created the chocolate. It aims to provide financial support to Nova Scotia youth aged five to 21 who wish to advance skills in Gaelic language, song, fiddle and piano playing and storytelling.

“I want every single person to get one of those (at the gifting suite),” she said.

“It is my best-seller by far, and it also shows a little bit about who I am. I kind of have the fundraising bug a little bit and it feels really good.”

In Cape Breton, she expects her chocolates will be available within the next week or so at the Cape Breton Fudge Company in Sydney, and at the Blue Heron Gift Shop in Baddeck.

While she’ll enjoy the attention south of the border, Franklin said her real “big break” is the increased attention in Nova Scotia where it’s been tough to create a niche for her handmade chocolates over the past 10 years.

“They’re crafted by hand and they have a real artisan look to them.

“And a lot of times you’re not actually buying them for yourself, for your own craving, but you are actually hoping that Santa Claus brings them to you.”

Jill’s Chocolates can be found on the Internet at www.jillschocolates.com.

Recent Stories