“Sweet in every Sense since 1947”

Kilwins Chocolates, Fudge & Ice Cream franchise has earned its legacy through quality treats that bring people together to celebrate sweet moments, feel cheer and experience a lift in spirits.

Our core values

Every day, we create the sweetest experiences by living our core values.

Treat others as you want to be treated: as sweet as our ice cream and desserts!

Do your best. We’re a team, and together we can strive to deliver the sweetest experience.

Have fun! Be like a kid in a candy store—because you are.

Over seventy years of sweet success​

Our history in artisan sweets is what makes us the successful, authentic confectioners we are today.

  • 1947


    Don & Katy Kilwin purchased a bakery in Petoskey, MI and began making delicious baked goods and high-quality confections.

  • 1965


    The Kilwins purchased equipment to expand the business.  

  • 1971


    The Kilwins sold the bakery side of the business and devoted themselves to making and selling confections.

  • 1978


    Wayne & Lorene Rose purchased Kilwins and opened stores in Harbor Springs, Mackinac Island, and Traverse City, Michigan. 

  • 1983


    Kilwins began to expand its retail presence, opening the first franchised store.

  • 1985


    Kilwins adds Original Recipe Ice Cream to their sweet lineup.

  • 1995


    Don & Robin McCarty purchased Kilwins with ambitions to expand the brand and retail presence.

  • 2005


    Kilwins opens a second distribution center in Florida to service southern stores with a dedicated truck fleet. 

  • 2011


    Kilwins began to make Heritage Chocolate, using Kilwins proprietary recipes.

  • 2011


    Kilwins Chocolate Kitchen & company retail store opened in Petoskey, Michigan. 

  • 2019


    A new distribution center opened in Michigan, which now services the midwest, northeast, mid-Atlantic and western stores. 

  • 2020


    Kilwins introduced a new smaller retail model, Kilwins Ice Cream & Chocolate Shop. 

  • 2023


    Kilwins is purchased by Levine Leichtman Capital Partners, bringing resources to drive brand growth.

  • 2024


    Top in category with Entrepreneur Franchise 500 for the 8th year in a row.



The Kilwins purchase equipment that
expands their business.


Don and Katy sell the bakery side of the business in order to focus on making hand-crafted chocolates.


Meet the team

Favorite Item:
Dark Chocolate Sea-Salt Caramels

Brian Britton

President and Chief Executive Officer

Favorite Item:
TUTTLE™ Nut Caramels - Dark Chocolate Cashew

Robin Burgan

Vice President of Finance, Secretary and Treasurer​

Favorite Item:
Dark Chocolate Almond Toffee Crunch

Ron Brunette​

Chief of Brand
and Design​

Favorite Item:
Nutcracker Sweets

Ron Galbreath​

Director of Franchise

Favorite Item:
Marsh-Mallow S’more Ice Cream or Heavenly Hash

Jeff Deming

Director of Franchise Relations

Favorite Item:
Peppermint Bark

John Hudak

Director of Human Resources

Favorite Item:
Sea - Salt Caramel Fudge

George Fabis

Director of Information Technology

Favorite Item:
TUTTLE™ Nut Caramels - White Chocolate Macadamia

Joe Audia

General Manager, Kilwins Quality Confections, Inc.