Clark and Ana Mitchell never planned on becoming the “Cracker People of Asheville” when they moved to the mountains of North Carolina, in March of 2010. After selling their New Jersey restaurant, The Twisted Tree Café in Asbury Park, they moved to Asheville intending to open another café. Needing a little downtime between restaurants, they decided to bring their baked goods to local farm markets, thinking it would be a great way to introduce their products and themselves to the community. Within a month of moving to town, their home kitchen was certified. They began to bake and were soon actively selling baked goods and breads at local tailgate markets. Always thinking of new and fun goods for markets, they experimented one morning and made a batch of crackers. Later that day, they brought them to the market and they immediately sold out! The very first test batch sealed their fate. Restaurant idea out, crackers, in.
Roots & Branches Crackers were so well received, Clark and Ana began wholesaling them locally. Before they knew it, their little 2-bedroom bungalow became a “cracker factory”. Furniture was moved into storage and their only living space was the bedroom. The tiny kitchen housed a large commercial mixer and 3 convection ovens stacked in a corner. The spare bedroom was turned into a pantry, while the dining and living room decor now consisted of large butcher block tables and sheet racks. They used every inch of the house possible and by the summer of 2011, they were bursting at the seams.
Clark and Ana fell in love with making crackers and realized if they were going to continue, the “cracker house” needed to become a real “cracker factory.” By the end of 2011, they had moved the bakery out of the house, the furniture back in and opened their current commercial kitchen, located in Black Mountain.
One of the first things they were able to do in their new space, was ditch the rolling pins and invest in a sheeter.
Another change made was the packaging. They went from the time consuming task of placing stickers on craft bags, to professionally printed boxes. The boxes not only make Roots & Branches crackers easier to ship and more appealing for store displays, they prolong the shelf-life. Inside the box, the crackers are also sealed in cellophane bags. All packaging is done in house, to ensure the freshest product possible.
One thing that hasn’t changed is their commitment to quality. Roots & Branches use the finest ingredients and Clark & Ana oversee every batch to make certain the best possible crackers get shipped from their bakery to your business or table.