If you’re looking for something sweet but farm-fresh this Halloween season, try Ojai’s Conway’s Confections, a family-run business that crafts homemade “treats with a sense of terroir.”
Inspired by her mother’s memories of life on a New York farm, Sue Gilbreth taught herself to farm on Hermitage Ranch, which she owns with her husband, Bill, and often used the abundant fruit to make sweets for friends and family. She turned that hobby into a business, now sourcing all of her fruit from her ranch or others nearby, whether using lemons, orange, lavender, walnuts, or native plants like bay leaf and sage. “I love developing new flavors and experimenting with the local bounty,” explained Sue, who named the business after their son.
Popular products include Chocolate Dipped Candied Oranges and Lavender Lemon Walnut Chocolate Bark. Both feature 66 to 70 percent fair trade organic chocolate that’s made in the couverture style, which is rich in cocoa butter and cocoa solids. The Gilbreths hope to debut the apricot and sage flavors very soon as well as a sweet mix of fig, orange, and California bay. Crafting everything in their ranch kitchen, there are no tricks here, just delightful treats.