Buoyed by the lessons from a free class on starting a business at San Francisco's Renaissance Entrepreneurship Center, and a loan from Youth Business America, Shiyuan Deng started Double Dutch Sweets in Oakland last summer. Deng, a mini-Mars mogul in the making, has created the Ramona bar, a far superior version of that company's popular Snickers.
Double Dutch Sweets' Ramona bar
Double Dutch Sweets. Available at The Candy Store, Miette, Bi-Rite, Rainbow Grocery, and Little Vine, or visit doubledutchsweets.com.
Instead of crappy, questionable chocolate, Deng's Ramona uses lush Venezuelan chocolate that's dark enough to touch upon savory territory. Her nougat is fluffy and made with honey, with a bit of sea salt sprinkled on top. More than anything, she nails the proportions that Snickers should have, with lots of nougat and well-scattered chunks of peanut.
At $6 for a tiny 1.8-ounce bar, the Ramona can only be the frequent habit of the monied. But if the price point was lower, we'd have a serious problem on our hands, so perhaps this is a public service.