Sometimes it is mere happenstance that brings about the most delightful of discoveries. Such was the case with my discovering Craquelins. On a Sunday in January, my husband and I went to a winter farmers’ market to purchase our weekly supply of vegetables. Exploring the various vendors’ tables, we found some yummy flatbread crisp samples. Never ones to pass on a free food tasting, we gave them a try and were hooked. We added a couple packages to our collection of food. Returning two weeks later to the next market, we were pleased to see that Craquelins was there again and purchased more. Discovering a new food that was delicious and based local to us seemed serendipitous and a good reason to learn more.
After an email to Diane Romagnoli, one of the three co-founders of Craquelins, it was arranged for me to visit their production floor. Located in Dover, New Hampshire, Diane bakes these flatbread crisps twice a month with David and Heidi Aguiar, the other two co-founders. While David and Heidi made preparations for the day’s baking, Diane shared the story of how Craquelins came to be.
Diane has enjoyed cooking for a long time. In recent years, she has started baking bread and received rave reviews from family and friends. In fact, she received public attention when she served as the amateur chef at Z Food and Drink in Manchester in October 2010. Serving her homemade breads as part of the meal, any leftover breads were popular requests for doggie bags.
During this time of bread making, Diane’s friend David became interested in not only eating the bread but in making it also. Together Diane, David, and his wife Heidi formed Good Bread Company and began planning the launch of Craquelins for early 2011. However, as these things happen, the opportunity arose for them to display their crisps at a specialty food and craft fair in November 2010, and their launch date was made earlier. Sales were so amazing at the fair that by the second day, they had sold out of all of their crisps.
With the popularity of these crackers, they moved from a small space in Chester to their bigger location in Dover. The making of these crackers truly is “a labor of love,” as Diane explained. Their baking location is approximately an hour from their home bases. Two Fridays nights and two Saturday days each month are spent making the dough, baking, and packaging. While they could bake more in bulk, these are artisanal crisps made in small batches. Thus, the biweekly bakings are needed to fill the demand.
Currently, the flatbread crisps can be purchased at several farmers’ markets, Black Forest Café, and NH Made in Hampton. Additionally, online orders can be placed. At this time, they have four varieties: Black & Whites, Spicy Ten Seed, Sweet Cinnamon Sugar, and their newest, Olive Oil & Sea Salt. I have sampled all of these, both through my purchases and a generous gift bag during my visit. My family and I are hooked on these crisp, tasty crackers.
At only four months old, Craquelins is off to a fabulous start. Diane stated that their goal was to “bring goodness back to bread”. With a product so young, yet so well-received, it seems quite likely that they already are making excellent progress on that goal.
To learn more about where you can find Craquelins or to place an online order, please visit their website.