Queen City Crunch
Katie Cooper was a stay-at-home mom teaching fitness classes when the pandemic shut everything down. She began spending time in the kitchen, working with a favorite old family recipe. Cooper would take pretzels, douse them with different seasonings and bake them. “My mom had made the recipe for years. We had them in our wedding welcome bags and brought them to parties and family gatherings. With the extra time on my hands, I began to research to see if I could even make a business out of it,” she explains.
Queen City Crunch was officially born in January 2021 in Cooper’s home kitchen. But after word of mouth and social media boosted demand, Cooper moved to a shared commercial kitchen and office space to bake what she calls her “knot your average pretzels.” The bestselling “OG” is seasoned with crushed red pepper, Cajun seasonings and dill, while other varieties include Cinnamon Sugar and an extra-spicy version called The Heat. An 8-ounce bag costs $10, and gift sets and variety boxes are available.
Cooper hired a team of moms as part-time employees and began selling Queen City Crunch in retail shops across the Carolinas. She’s currently looking for a bigger space so that she can fill even more orders.
“The biggest reward for me has been to achieve becoming a woman entrepreneur. I love that my daughter gets to see me working hard and growing a business from nothing. It is also very rewarding to put other stay-at-home moms to work, and give them a flexible work space that allows for both personal growth, without compromising their family first.”
Follow Queen City Crunch on Instagram at @queencitycrunch and shop at queencitycrunch.com. Photographs courtesy Queen City Crunch.