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Castleton Crackers merges with Woodstock cheese maker

Whitney Lamy

Whitney Lamy

— One of Rutland County’s most successful cottage businesses is in the midst of change. Castleton Crackers, owned by Whitney Lamy, is merging with Vermont Farmstead Cheese Co. of South Woodstock.

Lamy made news of the business merger official at the new Vermont Food Center on West Street in Rutland Dec. 8.

In 2011, Vermont Farmstead Cheese closed on financing $2.5 million of Series A Preferred Stock. Proceeds from the stock financing helped improve and expand its South Woodstock operations. Vermont Farmstead Cheese products are sold in over 160 stores in six states. The firm has earned over a dozen awards in various national cheese competitions.

“As an artist and baker, I am fascinated by the origins of many of the foods we eat today which led me to look ‘outside the box’,” Lamy has said about her popular crackers. “In the early 1800s Josiah Bent from Massachusetts decided to make a lighter and thinner version of Hardtack, a soldiers and seafarers staple. Bent rolled out sheets of dough, baked and hand ‘cracked’ them. I have been rolling out crackers this original way in my Castleton, Vt.,kitchen for family and friends for years.”

Lamy graduated from the University of Massachusetts in 1980 and started her career as a newspaper graphic designer.

“From there, I went to running a historic, federal-period mansion that was also a rental facility in Salem, Mass., for eight years. My role there was function director. I did everything from designing brochures to working with caterers,” she told the UMass Amherst alumni publication in 2010. “In 1992, my husband Philip, who is also a graduate of UMass Amherst, was offered a professorship at Castleton State College, so we moved to Vermont.”

Lamy has always used all-natural ingredients in her crackers.

“We mix, roll, bake them and then crack them by hand creating beautiful rustic looking crackers,” she says on her website.

There are no plans to change ingredients or baking procedures. The crackers have no trans fats, artificial content, or preservatives.

Castleton Crackers have been receiving serious praise in recent years. Food critic Florence Fabricant of the New York Times recently sampled Lamy’s crackers and approved.

“The folks in Castleton have nailed the texture perfectly: sturdy enough for spreading and dipping, but flaky enough for nibbling like potato chips,” Fabricant said.

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