Photo by Charlotte Peale

Photo by Charlotte Peale


A couple of fathers were tired of the crummy Halloween candy their kids brought home. One of those dads was Denis Ring, who started the 365 brand for Whole Foods and was closely involved with the O Organics line at Safeway. Ring teamed up with Scott Kucirek and a handful of food science graduates from UC Davis (their “Oompa Loompas”), to offer organic, additive-free versions of traditional candy bars like Snickers, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, and Mounds. They’ve been manufacturing OCHO Candy in Oakland on Adeline Street but are in the process of relocating to 26th and Campbell, across the street from Brown Sugar Kitchen. And they intend to continue to produce in Oakland and hire locally, with, according to Ring, “one of the most sophisticated production lines in the world.”

Look for OCHO candy locally at Whole Foods and Safeway in full-size single bars or minis by the bag. Whether you choose the Caramel and Peanut, Coconut, Peanut Butter, Dark Coffee, or Mocha bar, you’ll get to enjoy the pleasure of those old favorites without the high-fructose syrup or other additives. And, hey! They’re vegan too!

—Kristina Sepetys