Mark and C’Anne Wofford launched Oso Keto earlier this year.
The ketogenic diet has two main rules: eat a larger amount of healthy fats and avoid carbohydrates. Together, those changes are supposed to promote a more efficient metabolism. Cutting carbs, however, is a daunting task for many who often deem keto unsustainable. Enter Mark and C’Anne Wofford. The West Chester couple recently launched Oso Keto, which offers keto-friendly alternatives to carb-based culinary staples.
Faced with health issues two years ago, the Woffords discovered the keto diet while trying to change their eating habits. “We’re really amazed at how changing the food that you eat can change your health—and change your physical wellbeing and your mental clarity,” C’Anne says, who has a family history of diabetes and previously had high blood sugar.
But for the Woffords, who once loved to make homemade pizza, pasta and bread, giving up carbs was initially difficult. So was the thought of no longer having the occasional charcuterie-style dinner, an eating quirk they attribute to a stint living in Europe. Meats and cheeses are keto-friendly, but when it comes to low-carb crackers, “there’s not much out there,” C’Anne says.
Not wanting to give them up, the couple began experimenting with making their own crackers and quickly developed two recipes they loved—almond crackers and seed-based “snackers” which are not only healthy, but flavorful. “Being food people, we’re very flavor-driven,” C’Anne says. “[These two recipes] meet our criteria of being tasty.”
Encouraged by their friends, both keto and non-keto, who loved their snacks, the Woffords decided to launch their own business. Partnering with the Artisan Exchange in West Chester earlier this year, Oso Keto officially debuted in May.
The name is inspired largely by the Woffords’ children. Their daughter owns a baking business called OsoSweet, which is set to open its first brick-and-mortar location in the Chadds Ford Barn Shops this August. Their son coined “Oso” as both a play on the words “Oh, so” and the Spanish word for bear.
Oso Keto crackers and snackers are currently sold at the Artisan Exchange and at the Woffords’ online shop, but Mark and C’Anne hope to see it in local stores soon. The crackers and snackers come in flavors like turmeric and black pepper, smoked paprika, and rosemary. As they expand their business, the Woffords hope to add new flavors and other keto-friendly products like sauces.
Despite the difficulties of opening a small business during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Woffords say Oso Keto has been a silver lining. “It’s really exciting to have a message of hope in the middle of a time when everybody is so depressed,” C’Anne says. “Just realizing that there are other opportunities out there has been really cool for us.”