Byron Bay Crackers - An interview with Sarah McGrory
Based off the Danish recipe for Knaekbroed (a seeded flat bread), every Byron Bay Cracker is chock-full of nutritious seeds, giving them a rich nutty flavour and irresistible moreish texture. Perfect as an accompaniment to your favourite dip or cheese, but equally as delicious served simply on their own!
We know small business is hard. Is there an inception story to your brand? What got you started or gave you the push to start your own enterprise?
I began baking crackers at home in 2015 so that we always had a stash for ourselves and even more to share with friends who became instantly addicted to the slightly salted flavour and crispy texture of the seeded crackers recipe. One great friend, an admired Chef and ideas girl, suggested I should think about taking the crackers beyond the home kitchen. The seed was planted, but it wasn’t until a few years later that my husband and I decided to think more seriously about giving the crackers business a go. Little did we know how much it would challenge us!
Byron Bay Crackers was born in 2017 and that original recipe was transformed into our first and most popular salt & seed cracker.
We borrowed a commercial kitchen in Byron Bay on weekends from that same Chef friend and her generous business partner, who happens to be another inspiring friend. Every Saturday and Sunday I would weight out, mix, roll and bake cracker recipe batches while everyone else was enjoying a sleep-in. My husband would arrive late morning with coffee and snacks and join me on the production and packing line until the day was done.
I began selling small orders of the crackers to a few local retail outlets in and around Byron Bay. I am ever grateful to those local businesses for having faith in the product and giving our little crackers a go.
One year later, we moved into our own kitchen in Byron Bay. Today our crackers are sold online and up and down the east coast of Australia in grocers, delis, wine stores and supermarkets. We also supply some wonderful restaurants.
Who or what do you draw inspiration from?
I love reading recipe books and food magazines and I am always exploring and kitchen testing crackers ideas.
Other than yourself of course, who is your favourite artisan producer here in Australia? How come?
I have had the joy of meeting so many female producers, chefs, food entrepreneurs throughout my journey so far. Our local region in northern NSW is brimming with women in food doing incredible things. I take my hat off to all of them - especially Deb Allard from Cheeses Loves You who is an award winning artisan cheesemaker and Sarah Swan who is co owner of Bay Grocer - my favourite Providore in Byron Bay.
We know Australia is the best place on earth, but what makes it so special to you? What’s your favourite thing about Australia?
I have a soft spot for Tasmania and it’s abundant food offering. From its roadside stalls selling crunchy apples or warm bread like that from The Bruny Baker, to the best tasting pacific oysters you will ever enjoy freshly shucked in front of you, to the wine makers and to the restauranteurs who do the homegrown produce amazing justice.
Which of your products are your favourite to gift to others or share with friends around the table?
When we have guests I put out a selection of all of our crackers to match a variety of cheeses and accompaniments. I always make sure our gluten free crackers are available. Our friends who have wheat intolerances say they are “incredible" as they don’t taste like other cardboard gluten free crackers. We love that!
You can explore our full range of Byron Bay Crackers here
For more information about Sarah and her latest adventures head to byronbaycrackers.com