Occo: Micro Portions, Macro Flavor

Founder Connie Wang Holding an 8-Spice Occo Card.

The elegant small cards produced by Occo contain eight half-teaspoon, pre-measured spices sealed into what Occo co-founder Cynthia Wang calls “forever-fresh aluminum pods.” Starting at $5, cards come in chiles, cinnamons, herbs, peppers, and essentials. All spices are purchased from transparent, sustainable supply chains of small-scale spice merchants who have spent years building relationships with farmers. “Fair trade,” “small batch,” and “organic” are Occo’s by-words.

The name Occo is derived from the Italian: abbiocco, meaning a food coma or the sleepy feeling you get after a big meal. Despite abbiocco’s implied bounty, “The Joy of Just Enough” is based on precision, helping cooks get exactly the amount of spice they need so that they’re able to cook with fresh, ethically sourced spices at a fair price.

Occo also seeks to reduce packaging and food waste, pointing out that 40 percent of food produced in the United States is wasted. With 75 percent of aluminum in every produced still in use today, it is the most recycled and most recyclable material on earth. The pods themselves can and should be easily recycled by consumers, who can toss them into soda cans. The paperboard is also easily recyclable.

In addition to the basic cards, Occo offers “Chef Decks” containing seasoning for recipes developed by Occo’s celebrity chef partners, including Chef Nina Compton’s Creole Bistro, Chef Asha Gomez’s Cook in Color, and Chef Adriana Urbina’s Grand Latin American.