Oakland's OCHO Unveils PB&J Bars

The organic delights are available in over 200 Bay Area stores.


Kristan Lawson

Oakland-based OCHO Candy™ has just introduced a new addition to its line of organic chocolate bars.

Featuring peanut butter and raspberry jam cloaked in rich milk chocolate, the OCHO PB&J Bar, now available near the checkout lines of nearly 200 Bay Area Safeway stores and over 1,500 Safeway and Albertsons stores nationwide, as well as online at OchoCandy.com.

“While OCHO is already available in more than 10,000 storefronts across the country, this exclusive deal with Albertsons" — which is affiliated with Safeway, Vons, and other banners — "is a significant step forward for our brand awareness and our efforts to turn a homegrown Oakland-based business into a national player in the organic market,” said OCHO CEO Scott Kucirek. 

OCHO was founded in 2010 by Denis Ring, who earned his MBA at Yale and also masterminded Whole Foods' 365 Everyday and Safeway's O Organics. Seeking feedback on his own early candy-bar creations, he turned to his friend, fellow dad, and zipRealty founder Kucirek — who earned his MBA at Berkeley's Haas School of Business. 

Now the company's certified-organic, non-GMO candies — including coconut bars, peanut butter bars, caramel-and-peanut bars, dark-chocolate puanut-butter bars, and the new PB&J bars — are made at the company's 25,000-square-foot West Oakland factory, which opened in the summer of 2014, whose equipment does everything from melting and tempering chocolate to filling and packaging bars, and whose managers have food-science degrees. 

Temptingly glossy on the outside and lushly velvety on the inside, the PB&J bars merge three kinds of richness: creamy chocolate; earthy nut butter; and tangy, real-fruity, not-too-sweet jam. Each provides a perfect candy-bar counterpoint to the other two. 

“Albertsons is pleased to be the very first retailer to roll out OCHO's new PB&J bar,” said Albertsons national confections buyer Terry Fowler.

"We’re proud to be a leader in introducing innovative products and excited to present this original, high-quality organic candy bar to our product mix.”

Also newly arriving in stores from the proudly East Bay brand are a seasonal Eastertime treat: bags of caramel- and peanut-butter-filled milk-chocolate eggs. Melting obligingly in the mouth, they're about the size of — but far better atop cupcakes and ice cream than — quail eggs. 

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