Second Harvest Food Bank’s Food Sourcing Manager Mark Kokoletsos recently met with Matt Ryan at Ocean’s Halo. Ocean’s Halo started collaborating with us last September by donating kelp-based snacks, broths and sauces. We chatted with Matt to learn more.
Mark Kokoletsos, Second Harvest Food Bank, and Matt Ryan, Ocean’s Halo
Matt, tell us about yourself and Ocean’s Halo.
I’m originally from Massachusetts and I am the Associate Director, Product Sales & Marketing at Ocean’s Halo. I graduated from Santa Clara University with a Bachelor of Science in Commerce and a double major in Economics and Environmental Studies.
Ocean’s Halo started as a chip company and has transformed into a company with a diverse set of new products.
We currently have 6 employees, including a product development person in the US and one co-founder who lives in Korea where the kelp and seaweed are grown, harvested and bought. We make and sell broth, noodles, noodle kits and seaweed snacks. We sell through Amazon, Walmart, Whole Foods and a bunch of smaller retailers across the US. We’re looking to expand more and penetrate the European market as well.
What are some of Ocean’s Halo’s key initiatives right now?
Our most recent innovation at Ocean’s Halo is delicious and refreshing drinks containing deep sea water with naturally occurring electrolytes such as calcium, magnesium, and potassium. The ocean is a replenishable source for water, and deep sea water originates from the ocean’s polar glaciers. It is a nutrient-dense water retaining its purity at approximately 1000 meters below the surface. We add odorless and tasteless kelp extract, perhaps the planet’s most sustainable crop, that provides additional nutrients & minerals like iodine.
Ocean’s Halo Drinks
We are continually working on product development, with a new drink in development which we hope to launch next year. We are also working on finding more sale venues and e-commerce venues.
When did you start partnering with Second Harvest Food Bank? How did the partnership come about?
I first heard about Second Harvest Food Bank while going to school at Santa Clara University where I was a part of a project (Farm Produce Recovery Potential in Central California for Food Bank Distribution) in 2016-2017 with Dr. Gregory Baker. The final summary of the research is currently being written. I am very passionate about food waste issues and Ocean’s Halo started donating products last September that are in excess or close to their “sell by” date. I also work with Martha’s Kitchen through Santa Clara University’s Food Recovery Network.
What do you like best about Second Harvest Food Bank?
I really appreciate its accessibility and responsiveness. Second Harvest is a high profile agency in the county and without you, it would be significantly more difficult for Ocean’s Halo to move as much food to recipients and limit food waste.
Thanks Matt and Ocean’s Halo for fighting hunger in our community and partnering with us!