Business Update – 10/11/16 25


Here’s what we said back in August: “Every day we get posts, phone calls and emails asking us where we are in the “getting back into the market”.  We haven’t forgotten you this past month. Fact of the matter is that our zoo production has taught us that our current manufacturing operation is not suited to make consumer RYKRISP as needed. It’s technical stuff like an oven that is too short, packaging in too confined an area etc etc. That’s what a start-up is for. Our job is to get the process and product right, so we are working on fixing this. I just wanted to post our website visitors as you and our Facebook fans are our most loyal supporters. More to come as we sort out the solutions. Thanks for your ongoing support!”

Two months later and we haven’t yet found the solution, but we’re trying just as hard as before.  It would take me too long to explain exactly what the issue is, but suffice it to say, it involves us trying to disentangle from the original co-packer.  As they say, “Breaking up is hard to do”, but it’s the right thing for making a great product.  It’s also life in a start-up.  Success never seems to occur in a straight line.  Rest assured, we haven’t forgotten you, but more importantly, we hope you don’t forget us!

Thanks as always.

Ted


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25 thoughts on “Business Update – 10/11/16

  • Jeffrey Link

    What’s the deal? Weren’t these originally a Purina product (out of my hometown)? Will Walmart be retailing them? Same recipe? Too good to be out of the retail stores. I’m a communications pro — if you need help, holler. On LinkedIn, as below.

    • tleavitt Post author

      Thanks for the offer. You are correct that Ralston used to own them (going back a long way). Then ConAgra bought the brand as part of the Ralcorp deal, which had a lot of private label/contract baking. When you have a brand within a private label business that is a subsidiary of a branded business, neglect will typically ensue. The brand atrophied and was shut down in Q1 2015 by ConAgra. That’s when we came in to buy the business, but ended up with the intellectual property. We had to move manufacturing, and you can see the updates here on the website.

      RYKRISP is unique and tricky to make, and having to move facilities once we figured it out is proving a challenge…not to mention the fact that our co-packer didn’t really want to “break up” and has caused serious issues that we are working to overcome. But as they say, this is what happens with small businesses/start-ups. Part of life, and we’ll figure it out.

      When we’re back, we’ll try to get it in distribution as widely as possible. Small- to mid-sized retailers will be the obvious first retail ports of call as the larger ones take more time. In any case, you’ll be able to buy direct from us.

      Thanks for the interest and support.

      Ted Leavitt

  • April

    I am 43 yrs old and I only discovered RYKRISP crackers about 4 yrs ago. My cousin turned me on to them with Crab Salad on top, which immediately became my very favorite snack. I was beyond bummed when they suddenly disappeared from the store shelves. I live in Washington State and I would happily special order them straight from the factory if someone would start making them again. I’ve tried a couple rye flatbread type crackers as a substitute, but it’s just not the same. Please please let me know when they become available again. I really don’t eat very healthy foods and RYKRISP were one of the only really high fiber good-for-you snacks that I actually Like.

    • tleavitt Post author

      April – great story. We’re working on the situation. You can get most of the background from the posts/comments here. Suffice it to say, we’re working hard to get back to getting you the cracker you like. Thanks for the words of encouragement. Ted Leavitt

  • LJ

    Waiting impatiently,,, I only have two (2), yes, just two little old sad crackers left from my very last boxes purchased unbeknowingly just prior to the end of the prior era. DO NOT lose faith that you will be successful – as you can tell, you have many fans eagerly awaiting your victory!

    • tleavitt Post author

      Your support means a lot to this little group here. This is pain in the neck, but stopping production where we were was the right thing to do. We’ve had to go to legal means to untangle the mess and are working as quickly as we can to get back on a level playing field. As anyone involved in small business knows, these things happen, and you need to be diligent in your quest! Thanks for supporting us. Ted Leavitt

  • Deanna Friedman

    I grew up eating RYKRISP with cottage cheese on top. It has been a favorite snack for as long as I can remember. Please don’t give up trying to get it back on the shelves. Ill personally lobby my supermarket chain to carry it (Market Basket).

  • JODI

    I moved from MN to NC 15 years ago and desperately tried to find Seasoned RYKRISP, my staple cracker. No luck. Not hardy grain people here. Then, I found them at Whole Foods. I almost shouted. Now they’re off the shelf and RyVita is just not the same. Reading this, I cross my fingers and am so pleased that your small group is trying to bring back the brand. Marketing outside of MN had to be an issue as well. Though, I imagine now, with so many foodies and health food avenues, it is still viable. Good luck!

    • tleavitt Post author

      Thanks for the perceptive comments. Yes, we feel we’re on trend (when we get back in action). The brand was strongest in the Upper Midwest and along the West Coast. You are correct that we get fewer contacts from NC but hopefully there will be progress there as well.

  • Chris

    You know, some of us Norwegian-American and Swedish-American RYKRISP loyalists (and others of all nationalities) are not fussy about packaging! You could sell RyKrisp to us in unmarked vaccuum-sealed packages marked with a Sharpie via UPS and we wouldn’t mind one whit about the packaging.

    Recently, I was reduced to buying a package of what sort of looked like RYKRISP in giant rounds from a certain Sveedish big box store (rhymes with “can’t be ya” **cough** and it wasn’t even remotely like RYKRISP.

    We miss our ‘krisp! No pressure, but Christmas is coming…

    Sent with deep affection, fond hope, and much support!

    • tleavitt Post author

      As you have seen from the other updates, comments, we’ve been stymied by an unwieldy exit from our former co-packer. Unfortunately it has us in the courts to get our manufacturing equipment back. A pain, but we haven’t forgotten the cause. I miss RYKRISP, too! Thx, Ted

  • Deborah Ramlow

    I have loved Ry-Krisp. since I was a kid, every bite reminded me of my parents house at Christmas time. I will back up and tell you why. My Dad is a retired Episcopal clergy. every year at Christmas my folks had a party for the vestry (governing body) at the church, My Mom would bake cookies for months and freeze batch after batch. I discovered a taste for frozen cookies, I know hard to believe Right ? The big deep freezer was in the garage, where we waited for the school bus, it was years before Mom figured out that while we were waiting for the bus we raided the freezer. My was telling my husband about looking for Ry Krisp on the shelves at two local stores, and my disappointment when I couldn’t find any, so after an internet search. I found this blog, BUMMER!!!!!!!! Please work on get this wonderful product back on the shelves. Thanks Debi

    • tleavitt Post author

      Thanks for saying so. We’re working on it. Dealing with legal remedies isn’t synonymous with making crackers. We’ll try to get off the former and get on the latter. Tx! Ted Leavitt