Along Came Fran

Beatrice "Beato" Wood. Photograph by Fran Gealer.Beatrice "Beato" Wood. Photograph by Fran Gealer.

When someone walks into your life with a smoking hot pie tattoo on their arm, you pay attention. If we were interviewing for a position in a bakery, it would have been cinematic. We were looking for a Chocolatier, so it just felt a bit awkward. Fran was, and is, a baker. Previously, she had been a photographer. In that stage of her life, Travel + Leisure had sent her on assignment to photograph Beatrice Wood in Ojai. Neither of those jobs completely qualified her to run our kitchen, but, as they say, close enough.
Maybe, I would have been more comfortable if Fran was hiding another tattoo of a chocolate bar somewhere under her dress. She had a laundry list of things she could bake, but, like the missing tattoo, chocolate wasn’t one of them. At that point, I didn’t know enough about food to understand if switching to chocolate was simpatico or sacrilege. All I knew was that we were about to put our business in the hands of someone whose qualifications included being chocolate adjacent, having a pastry branded on her body, and had once met our North Star. It was the most intuitive and Dada-like thing we’d ever done...Beatrice would definitely have approved.

Stay tuned,
Co-Founder of Beato Chocolates

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