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Nutkrack: Extraordinary Candied Pecans!
Share something extraordinary with your customers! From flavor to packaging, Nutkrack is a premium product that will grow your basket size and increase customer loyalty, while adding incremental sales. Nutkrack is naturally GMO-free, gluten-free, vegan and plant-based, appealing to diverse customers. This simple, delightful snack is the perfect treat to share, and still meets the highest nutritional standards! Nutkrack is an idea born in Wisconsin, and forged in some of the best kitchens in the Midwest. Nutkrack Founder Eric Rupert has spent the last 42 years leading amazing culinary operations, from the James Beard Award-winning L’Etoile in Madison to the state-of-the-art corporate kitchens at Sub-Zero/Wolf and Epic Systems. In 1981 he started as a baker at The Ovens of Brittany, a Madison favorite specializing in extraordinary baked goods. Famous for their morning buns and croissants, The Ovens, as it was locally known, was way ahead of its time. As a baker there he would carefully watch the pastry bakers, asking questions and staying after his baking shift to help while off the clock. He took a break from pastry to travel, moving to Taiwan and then traveling to India, Nepal and Europe. Upon his return, he took up baking again. Within the seemingly rigid structure and recipes of baking he found a freedom to innovate and create beautifully crafted pastries and wedding cakes. One fateful evening he watched the movie Babette's Feast, and had an epiphany. He immediately switched to the savory side of the operation, quickly advancing through every station in the kitchen. As fate would have it, L’Etoile was hiring, and Eric made the move. L'Etoile already had garnered a national reputation under chef and owner Odessa Piper, as one of the early icons of the Farm to Table movement, along with Alice Waters’ Chez Panisse in Berkeley, CA. Six months into his time at L’Etoile, Eric was invited to be L'Etoile's co-chef along with Chef Piper. L'Etoile won a James Beard Award in 2001. In 2002 he left the restaurant world to become the Corporate Chef for Sub-Zero/Wolf. Eric worked on the cutting edge of technology with the team at Sub-Zero/Wolf, creating an industry-leading training program and helping professional and home chefs alike maximize the power and precision of this incredible equipment. In 2009 he was hired by Epic Systems, the world’s leading medical software company. When Eric arrived, a team of 30 served 1200 meals a day to Epic customers and staff. Over the next 9 years, with Eric’s leadership, the culinary team grew to over 200 professionals, serving more than 10,000 meals a day. Epic’s culinary program is an industry leader, with everything prepared from scratch and new menus every day of the year. The Happy Accident Nutkrack began as a mistake. Eric was hard at work in the kitchen, the stovetop crowded with pots and pans, when he accidentally dropped some pecan halves into the wrong pot. When he saw them again later, he stopped and looked more closely. They had a perfect, shiny glaze as though they had been intentionally and carefully prepared. He tasted one, and was surprised at how crunchy and delicious it was. Over the next hour, he ate them all. He added salt to a second batch, and shared them with family and friends. They were a unanimous hit, and a tradition was born: Eric would prepare these accidental treats as holiday gifts, and he did so for years. These days, Eric Rupert and his son Kellen bring Nutkrack to life along with a small team of food-lovers in Madison, Wisconsin. We go about this task with a humble and grateful Midwestern sensibility, along with a healthy dose of nostalgia and humor. While we appreciate and celebrate the power of food to connect people, we don’t take our products or ourselves too seriously. We are a premium brand, but we are still a small family business that is equal parts fun, quirky and irreverent. We value consistent quality, community and compassion as much as the bottom line.