Top Seedz, known for its crackers, has opened a new, highly automated production plant in Buffalo, N.Y., largely staffed by women refugees. The new facility, with 10 times the capacity of its previous operation, is expected to enable the company to keep pace with the coast-to-coast demand for its organic, gluten-free vegan products.

In the last six months, the company says it has tripled its distribution. Available online ( and through a network of more than 4,000 stores—including the grocery chains Wegman's, Erewhon and Whole Foods—Top Seedz recently expanded into Kroger and CVS. "We're not just moving to a bigger, more modern location; we're expanding possibilities," says Rebecca Brady, Top Seedz founder and CEO.

Brady, originally from New Zealand, says she has always considered female empowerment part of the mission. Her first employee was a woman refugee from Bhutan, and she now has women from more than 20 countries—many of them also former refugees—among her workforce of 42. Working with local agencies, Top Seedz reportedly provides skills training and even English-language training when needed.

The company's growth received a boost in 2021 when Brady's personal story and entrepreneurial energy were compelling enough that she won $1 million in a funding competition for startups held by 43North, a Buffalo-based business accelerator organization.

The cracker maker now has five product lines, including new snack size pouches, which will be available in 0.75-oz. and 1.5-oz. sizes. "With our new snack packs, we're meeting our customers in different places," Brady says. The crackers are available in three flavors: Sea Salt, 6 Seed, Rosemary and Cumin. Additional product offerings include Roasted Seeds, Raw Seeds and Snack Packs.