Q&A with Alison Thomas of Cradoc's Savoury Biscuits Ltd.
Cradoc's Savoury Biscuits epitomize a culinary masterpiece, boasting a distinctive blend of premium flavors and an artisanal touch that sets them apart in the world of delectable crackers. Hailing from the United Kingdom, this exceptional company is renowned for crafting crackers infused with the essence of freshly sourced vegetables, fragrant flowers, aromatic spices, and exquisite herbs, providing a delightful accompaniment to artisan cheeses. What makes Cradoc's truly unique is their commitment to handcrafted perfection, infusing every batch with an abundance of passion and care that resonates with the tradition of baking for loved ones.
What is your passion? Tell us about it.
A. We bake premium vegetable crackers for artisan cheese vendors , our crackers are flavoured with fresh vegetables, flowers, spices, [and] herbs
What inspired you to persue this passion? Tell us the story.
A. We LOVE cheese enjoying cheese and wine with grapes and honey and figs and crackers is our family passion. one day my daughter said mum these biscuits are like cardboard, and we have this wonderful cheese - its a travesty to pair them with these artisan cheeses when such care has been taken to make the cheese - you could bake better crackers! So i did just that . we staretd with 15 or so recipes and took them to farmers market six of the flavours were clearly selling better than the others, so using the money we'd earned selling our little squares of biscuity loveliness , we got them packed up and ready for retail 15 years later we are selling into World Market CA & VA and Wholesale in Dallas Texas . we sell all over the world where ever cheese is king!
What makes your creation unique?
A. we are artisan bakers so everything is made by hand - unusual for crackers, as normally they are a machine made product, but we love what we do and work as if we are baking for our own families so there's genuinely dancing and singing baked into our crackers as well as top quality local and international ingredients.
Tell us about your creative process.
A. Its all about taste, New Product Developmentstarts with a fruit or spice , a cheese or pickle, or a request from a retailer or wholesaler who chats with his customers and they tell me what might be an idea to pursue, so like alchemists we put the flavours and flours and fats together to create something special, or simple, or clean, or with banging flavours lemongrass cocnut and chilli for instance. its a joy when we taste a new recipe and eys sparkle and theres lots of nodding and reachingfor more!
Who is your audience? How do you engage them?
A. we attend trade fairs both at home in Wales and England, and Internationally. I guess it's our packaging which reaches out to our customers. I'm a product designer, old school, so i draw the packaging and have to employ a brilliant design house in Cardiff to digitise it and we work together to make it charming or eyecatching - i would say our packaging is the first marketing tool int he box
What experience does your passion create? What can recipients expect?
A. Flavour, but not just flavour - sometimes overwhelming, given we make crackers, small bites of singing and dancing. Our passion delivers personality, quietness, crunch, snap, a vehicle to shuttle cheese, a pink sugarless snack to quiet a hungry tummy, a banging drum with a beer- Chilli Ginger and Garlic. Partnership with cheese and a marriage, mystery and surprise - Pear and Earl Grey. Appropriateness- plain and simple let the cheese shine. Narrative- Sea Salted – there’s a story behind that Mermaid and the saline she swims in. Tingle and fun Szechuan pepperfennel and red onion It’s foolish that we feel this way about crackers …… absolutly bonkers. But its our life and we love it!
Where can your creations be found?
A. Find us in World Market Calif. and VA. And very soon in Texas. We ship next week! Cradocs also sell in S. Korea, the Phillipines and Singapore, as well as Wales, we have our bakery in Brecon in the foothills of the mountains there and England and a few European countries too. We sell on-line with Faire a trade website and we are looking for new customers world-wide all the time! See us at Anuga a trade fair in Germany in October, on the Welsh Food and Drink stand. We are a nation of food lovers!
What is next?
A. Growth! Additional space! We baker-ladies and cracker-packers are rammed into this little unit -and space will make a big difference. We will be starting up our Gluten Free, in a new bakery next door, we’ll have space to palletise and store our delicious ingredients and invite people in to talk about cheese and crackers! It will be a big change for us. We operate with Net Zero Carbon Neutral manufacturing, we bake with Wind Wave and Woman Power, ( We buy carbon neutral energy from the network , it costs a little more , but we don’t want to leave a negative footprint - a huge thing over here in Wales, so we will be looking at waste and keeping our use of energy to a minimum, so maybe solar panels for the new bakery. Whatever we do it will be exciting!