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For Joseph Chen, the old adage proved to be true: in need of delicious, gluten-free crackers to serve to family and friends, Chen invented something new. Based in Prince Edward County, Jöey Nordic Seed Crisps is a line of supremely crunchy, nutty (yet nut free), seed-based crackers ideally paired with cheeses, dips and butters, morning coffee, cocktails, tinned fish, sunny afternoons, gatherings, light lunches — in sum, most every food and moment you can think of. A local start-up inspired by Nordic culinary philosophy, Jöey Nordic Seed Crisps are a habit-forming snack you’ll want to get your hands on as soon as you can.
Launched last year, Jöey Nordic Seed Crisps is Prince Edward County’s first cracker brand. Though inspired by Swedish crispbread, Chen’s recipe feels more like a daintily-joined amalgam of ingredients than its forebears. Reach into one of the crisp paper bags, and you’ll find a happy jumble of cracker shards — some big, some small — all easy to demolish in one sitting.
An avid baker and food enthusiast, Chen worked as a consumer insight strategist for a multinational food brand before leaping into full-time entrepreneurship, in 2021. It was then that Chen decided to combine his baking know-how and his affinity for Swedish culture with his knack for understanding what and how consumers want to eat and drink.
Having discovered Swedish crispbread years earlier, Chen says he “made it [his] mission to recreate a crispbread recipe that is gluten free, and crispier with lots of healthy seeds.” Trial and error eventually led to the perfect recipe for Jöey Nordic Seed Crisps. In Saffron & Pink Salt, Truffle, and Rosemary & Black Pepper, Chen’s crisps are hand-made from an addictive blend of organic pumpkin, watermelon, sunflower and sesame seeds, with chia, flax and hemp for additional flavour, texture and nutrition. High in fiber, protein, iron and healthy fats, each cracker is made without nuts, gluten or sugar in a certified gluten-free kitchen.
“In August 2022, I launched our seed crisps at a farmers’ market in Prince Edward County,” says Chen. Mere months later, Jöey Nordic Seed Crisps can be found at local gourmet and specialty stores, including Summerhill Markets, Fiesta Farms, The Big Carrot, Coco Market, Sanagan’s Meat Locker, and more. A natural companion to cheese and wine, the crisps are also in stock at several Prince Edward County wineries.
A family affair (Chen counts his partner, Rob, his parents and brother among his most reliable assistants), Jöey Nordic Seed Crisps is in the process of growing to keep up with demand. “Starting your own business is hard but it is always very exciting and rewarding,” says Chen. “We are looking at different options right now so we can start building inventory and service more retail partners in the GTA.” Also on tap? “We would love to do DTC (direct-to-consumer) one day,” he adds, with national expansion being the ultimate goal. The company is also in the process of getting gluten-free and organic certifications.
Crackers that are as confident on their own as they are partnering other foods, Jöey Nordic Seed Crisps are just another of The County’s brilliant food finds. Search them out close to home or head east, and enjoy them in their birthplace. Either way, we guarantee you’ll adore every bite.