Hixon Falls Company owners Sara Murray (left) and Chanelle Sankey enjoy the first Williams Lake Farmers' Market this past Friday in the lakecity. The duo plan to bring their home baked crackers to market goers each week. (Angie Mindus photo - Williams Lake Tribune)

Young entrepreneurs take over local cracker company

Meet Chanelle Sankey and Sara Murray of Hixon Falls Company

An enthusiastic, entrepreneurial duo is putting a healthy, tasty spin on fresh snacks in B.C.’s Northern Interior through their passion for real food with real ingredients.

Chanelle Sankey and Sara Murray purchased Hixon Falls Company in October of 2019 where they moved the homegrown business from Hixon to Quesnel, and have been home-baking crackers from scratch with no preservatives, GMOs, or additives, since.

“Sara and I have both always shared a passion for real, whole, healthy products and we both love to snack,” Sankey said. “We’d been brainstorming and planning to put that into reality, and this opportunity came up and we jumped on it right away. I’d been eating and buying the crackers for quite a few years prior, and when I introduced them to Sara she loved them, so it was a great opportunity.”

Sankey, originally from Quesnel, and Murray, who moved to B.C. from Nova Scotia after the two became friends upon meeting and working together in Alberta, had always talked about starting a business together.

Now a regular sight at both the Quesnel and Williams Lake farmers’ markets and in local stores, including in Prince George, the crackers have proved a fun way for the pair to test their culinary creativity.

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Murray said Hixon Falls Company crackers are made with 75 per cent whole grain, whole wheat flour, seeds and spices, with all original ingredients, noting flavours currently include onion, chili, herb, caraway and spice.

“It’s just a lot of fun,” Sankey said, adding the two are currently focusing their energy full time into the business. “They are home-baked, and we’re able to experiment and try out some new stuff to hopefully come out with some new flavours in the next few months. We are also hoping to transition into the Sprout Kitchen in the fall.”

Being able to be a part of farmers’ markets in both Williams Lake and Quesnel has also been a rewarding experience, both agreed.

“We’re able to interact with the community more, and we’re both big on shopping locally and supporting small businesses … being able to go out on weekends and chat with people that have come up and let us know what they like and how they enjoy bringing them out for dinner parties, picnics, or just snacking has been so rewarding,” Sankey said.

While the novel coronavirus pandemic has presented a few challenges, both Murray and Sankey said they’ve used it as a positive.

“It’s given us a bit of time to focus on some of the other aspects of the company we hadn’t had time to do before,” Sankey said. “A couple of the stores we’re in are also doing doorstep deliveries and they’ve been able to add our crackers, and we’ve come up with ways people can purchase them through farmers’ market preorders, along with shipping boxes of more than 12 through Facebook.”

Sankey and Murray, along with Hixon Falls Company crackers, can be found at the Quesnel Farmers’ Market every Saturday, and at the Friday Williams Lake Farmers’ Market, along with the occasional Tuesday night Williams Lake market and Prince George Farmers’ Market.

“It’s been a totally rewarding experience,” Murray said. “Just with all the community involvement, as well as learning more about small business and getting involved and promoting local shopping and things like that, plus interacting with the people and seeing the results.”

Hixon Falls Company can be reached via social media on both Facebook and Instagram, and by e-mail at hixonfallsco@gmail.com.


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