At the frontline of the silent but deadly war ravaging the realm of cheese is a scrappy Wisconsin duo that calls themselves Potter’s Crackers. They’re warriors with wheat as their weapon, fighting for equal representation for cheese’s unsung counterpart: the cracker.
Flat and unassuming, crackers quickly fall victim to being treated as mere vehicles for spotlight-stealing cheese—especially in a place like Wisconsin, where it’s the state’s beating heart. But Peter Potter Weber and his mom Nancy Potter are taking a bold stand in defense of crackers, claiming they’re just as important to the cheese experience as the cheese itself.
They use high-quality, organic ingredients like Wisconsin milled whole-wheat flour and milk and butter from small, local farms in all of their crackers. We think they're seriously leveling the playing field when it comes to the cheese-and-cracker dynamic.
Their mission began in 2006 when Peter, a food science graduate of the University of Wisconsin, and his mom Nancy, who owned Wisconsin’s New Glarus Bakery for 25 years, decided to combine their Wisconsin-raised food brains to stake their claim in the state’s burgeoning artisan cheese industry. From their caramelized onion crackers and crisps to our newest addition, the cranberry and hazelnut crisps, we
People caught on. Potter’s Cracker’s, artfully rustic and hand-packaged, started showing up in dishes on coveted menus for the likes of Brasserie V, The Roman Candle and the Weary Traveler. Their sweet Hazelnut Graham crackers even show up in DB Infusions’ S’mores Truffle. Are Potter’s Crackers the pioneers of a new era of cracker domination? Can they single handedly shed their humble past for a future of glory? Judging on taste alone, we’re willing to bet yes.
Was it intimidating to put out a product other than cheese in cheese-crazed Wisconsin?
Sometimes the bridesmaid and sometimes the bride! Everybody needs friends, even cheese.
Could you give us an idea of what goes into the making of Potters’ Crackers?
Although [our process] sounds easy, it really is like magic. You would be amazed at how much handwork is in cracker making. Hard to give you a good way to understand quantity, but I can tell you we chop and caramelize 80 pounds of onions at a time, and the whole place is crying. Happy tears of course!
What’s been the coolest thing that’s happened for you guys since starting the company?
The Dane County Farmers’ Market here in Madison is the largest producers-only farmers’ market in the country. We were on the waiting list for five years, and then finally got it. It never fails, every Saturday I meet a customer of Potter’s from afar. Last Saturday: Alexandria, VA and, you guessed it, NYC! Being local is great, but spreading the word about WI cheese and crackers across the great USA is exciting, too!