Open Road Candy Co. specializes in handcrafted, Belgian chocolate-covered roasted almonds and toffee. Inspired by her love of the outdoors, founder Anne Osgood donates a portion of profits to the National Park Foundation and the Santa Monica Mountains Fund. $13 to $32 at Made Coffee and Frame Coffee in Fullerton, Blue Scoop Creamery in Yorba Linda, and Colony Wine Merchant in Anaheim. openroadcandy.com
Q&A with founder Anne Osgood:
What’s the inspiration behind Open Road Candy?
I’m what you would call a chocoholic. I’ve always loved candy—chocolate in particular. Ever since I can remember, I’ve wanted to start my own business and when I had the chance, I decided to go for it. Some of my happiest memories involve traveling and eating delicious desserts with my favorite people. I knew I didn’t want to start a “normal” candy company, so I combined my passions for travel and our incredible national park system to create Open Road Candy Co. It’s a wilderness- and road trip- inspired candy company with a mission to entice you to explore our country’s awe-inspiring wild spaces and enjoy delicious sweets while making memories with those who matter to you most.
Can you tell me about your partnerships with nonprofits?
Growing up in a big family, our vacations often consisted of packing into the car and hitting the open road. Little did I realize at the time, my parents were instilling in me a great appreciation for our vast and beautiful country, but also a sense of immense gratitude to the wise folks who helped create our national parks. The U.S. was the first country in the world to create national parks! When I started Open Road Candy Co., I knew I wanted to help contribute to the parks that have brought so much joy to everyone who visits them and do what I can to ensure they’re available for generations to come. I choose to contribute a portion of my profits to the National Park Foundation, which is the charitable arm of the National Park Service and provides much-needed funds to keep our parks beautiful and functional.
While living in Los Angeles, I became acutely aware of how critical open spaces are to the mental health and well-being of city dwellers. I think we’ve all experienced this first hand during the COVID lockdown. Being out in nature can lower stress levels, restore your soul and generally feels amazing. My family would often hike in the Santa Monica Mountains as a way to recharge and relax. A friend introduced me to the Santa Monica Mountains Fund, which has a similar function as the National Park Foundation, and I was so impressed by their work. They help fund habitat restoration, wildlife protection and school trips to the park. I wanted to make an impact on a local level as well, so I often highlight their work on social media and make financial contributions to them as well. They are two organizations that I’m very proud to support.
What are some of the key ingredients in your candy?
I use the best possible ingredients I can get my hands on. I’m not usually one to turn down a Snickers or Reese’s, but once you taste this Belgian chocolate, those candies will be ruined for you. I use roasted California almonds and large grain sea salt to balance the sweetness of the chocolate. The best candy has a perfect balance of salty and sweet…and of course, just the right amount of crunch!
What are your most popular items?
I started my business by selling toffee and that’s still a fan favorite. You can’t go wrong with buttery toffee mixed with roasted almonds then covered in chocolate and topped with walnuts. It’s a classic and simply delicious. People seem to really love anything with milk chocolate and dark chocolate. I’m always a bit surprised when I come across white chocolate fanatics. White chocolate can be a fairly heated topic—people either love it or hate it! I personally was never a white chocolate fan, but the one I use has notes of vanilla and is really creamy; not at all waxy like most of the white chocolate out there. In fact, the Belgian chocolate I use has a richer, creamier flavor than what we all grew up on. It’s so good! Several months ago, I started making Boulder Bites, which are roasted almonds covered in Belgian chocolate and sprinkled with sea salt. The Boulder Bites come in all three chocolate flavors and have been selling really well.
What is the price range for all your items?
My Boulder Bites range from $13 for a five-ounce bag to $32 per pound. My toffee is sold for $17 for a half-pound and $32 for a pound. Believe me, this candy is worth every penny!
Where can our readers get a hold of your candy?
Open Road Candy Co. is available at openroadcandy.com It’s also sold at Made Coffee and Frame Coffee in Downtown Fullerton, Blue Scoop Creamery in Yorba Linda, and Colony Wine Merchant in Anaheim. Additionally you can find my candy on charcuterie boards by The Cheese Block in Costa Mesa and Salt and Sage Grazing Boards in San Juan Capistrano. I’m thrilled to be able to partner with these incredible small businesses across Orange County.