NASFT Goes Crackers For Mary's Gone Crackers

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Mary's Gone Crackers has been chosen as a finalist in the Outstanding Cookie/Cracker category by The National Association for the Specialty Food Trade (NASFT).

The National Association for the Specialty Food Trade (NASFT) has announced the 89 Finalists for the prestigious NASFT 2006 Product Awards Competition and Mary’s Gone Crackers has been chosen as a finalist in the Outstanding Cookie/Cracker category. The winner will be announced at the Summer Fancy Food Show in July at the Jacob Javits Convention Center in New York.

Mary’s Gone Crackers was founded by Mary Waldner and her husband Dale Rodrigues in 2000, but the real story goes back much farther than that. In 1994 Mary, an established psychotherapist in Northern California, discovered after a lengthy search, that her lifelong battle with digestive pain and fatigue was actually caused by an intolerance to gluten, a protein found in wheat, barley, rye and even most oats. Mary also discovered that she was not the only one that suffered from this inability to digest gluten, commonly referred to as Celiac Disease. In fact 1 out of 133 people suffer from Celiac Disease and 90-95% are not properly diagnosed.

In a quest to find something she could eat, Mary discovered that many of the gluten-free foods on the market back then not only lacked in taste, but also were often full of hydrogenated fats or other chemical additives. Looking for healthful alternatives, she began to experiment with her own recipes for the foods she most missed. She found success in creating tasty, healthful and gluten-free versions of cookies, brownies, muffins, pancakes, and other typically wheat based foods. However, going outside the confines of her kitchen proved to be extremely frustrating. All of the breads and crackers at restaurants and parties were off limits to her. Mary’s feeling of deprivation in social situations inspired her to develop her unique cracker recipe. She combined brown rice, quinoa, flax seeds and sesame seeds into a healthful, crunchy and satisfying cracker. Mary would bake small batches of the crackers by hand and take them with her.

As friends began eating her gluten-free crackers instead of the usual bread and chips that were out there (and then ask for more!) she knew she was onto something. By the time Mary's Gone Crackers was born, she had hand made well over 30,000 crackers.

In less than two years in the marketplace, Mary’s Gone Crackers has achieved nationwide distribution in over 3000 stores such as Whole Foods, Wild Oats, Wegman’s, and Raley’s, as well as many independent health food and specialty food stores.

"We are so excited and honored to be nominated for this award, especially since we are such a new company,” states Mary Waldner, CEO of Mary’s Gone Crackers. “We are thrilled at the response to Mary’s Gone Crackers and this recognition is very validating for our entire, hard working team," Mary adds.

About Mary’s Gone Crackers

Founded by Mary Waldner and her husband Dale Rodrigues in 2000, Mary’s began production and distribution of their gourmet crackers in August of 2004. Mary’s Gone Crackers will be moving into a state of the art, 50,000 square foot production facility located in Gridley, CA by the end of Spring 2006. The new facility is the first 100% dedicated wheat-free gluten-free and Certified Organic plant in the country. The crackers come in 5 flavors: Original, Caraway, Black Pepper, Onion and Herb. For distribution or sales information, please contact 925-258-1200. For all publicity inquires, contact Darren Jordan at 323.230.7379.

About NASFT

The National Association for the Specialty Food Trade is a not-for-profit business trade association established in 1952 to foster trade, commerce and interest in the specialty food industry. The NASFT is an international organization composed of domestic and foreign manufacturers, importers, distributors, brokers, retailers, restaurateurs, caterers and others in the specialty foods business. The organization has more than 2,100 current member companies throughout the U.S. and overseas. For more information, please contact 212.482.6440 or visit http://www.nasft.org.

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Darren Jordan
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