Through the LSU AgCenter Food Incubator, two Baton Rouge sisters have in just a few months transformed a family recipe for a salty chocolate treat into a popular snack now sold at 34 grocery stores in Louisiana, Texas and Mississippi.
Linda McAdams and Karen Daigle launched their business making Pretzel Crunch using crushed pretzels and melted chocolate after McAdams lost her job in 2013. The product features a recipe Daigle created about 30 years ago.
In 2014, the sisters joined the LSU AgCenter Food Incubator and began producing and selling their Pretzel Crunch in larger and larger batches, under the brand Truly Scrumptious Candies and Confections.
At the Food Incubator a majority of recipes require adjustments to ensure shelf stability, but the Pretzel Crunch recipe was left virtually unchanged.
“We did our first test batch, to our first full batch, to our first farmers market, to our first stores’ shelves all in a month,” McAdams says in a press release issued by the AgCenter today.
They created four flavors including white chocolate, cranberry almond, Tiger white chocolate and peanut butter. This summer, as their product’s reach extended beyond state lines, the sisters and McAdams’ husband, James McAdams, changed their brand name to Truly Southern, paying homage to their roots.
“When we first started the business, we didn’t know how much it was going to take off,” James McAdams says in the release. “We thought it would stay local. Here we are in three states and more to come. Now we’d love to see it go nationwide.”
In addition to local grocers like Matherne’s and various Associated Grocers locations, the family also sells Pretzel Crunch at the Red Stick Farmer’s Market downtown.