Let me start by saying I’m a candy factory fanatic. Since reading Steve Almond’s Candyfreak back in college, I’ve had dreams of touring the country in search of my favorite confection. When I discovered the OCHO Candy factory was located just across town here in Oakland, CA, I knew I had to check it out. You may have noticed OCHO candy bars in the chocolate aisle at your local Whole Foods or other neighborhood market. The bright, colorful wrapper stands out in a crowd and the same can surely be said of the taste. OCHO makes organic alternatives to traditional candy bars. I was pleasantly surprised to see that all their candy is actually handmade. That’s right, each and every bar is artfully molded with high quality chocolate and the centers hand piped with delicious fillings like crunchy peanut butter, caramel and coconut! You really can taste the difference – a certain homemade freshness, combined with the precision and consistency you expect from a traditional candy bar. I should say however, that despite being surrounded by caramel, coconut, peanut butter, and chocolate all morning, the best part of my time at OCHO was getting to meet the staff. Most employees live in and around the same Oakland neighborhood, not to mention still love eating the bars they make everyday. Pretty cool if you ask me.
(images by HonestlyYUM)