43North kicks off 10th anniversary season; former winner moves into new downtown facility

The new Top Seedz factory on Oak Street in downtown Buffalo will produce 12,000 boxes of crackers in four hours.

BUFFALO, N.Y. — You may not know Rebecca Brady, but you probably know her crackers. 

"Back in 2017, it was mainly just me, with three kids being hauled along for the ride, carrying 50 pound bags of seeds, waking up at 5 a.m. to roll crackers," she said. "And of course, my husband Will was along for the ride."

Today Top Seedz is in more than 4,000 stores across the country, including Wegmans and Whole Foods. They've grown to a staff of more than 40, and they're moving into their brand new 35,000 square foot production facility in downtown Buffalo. 

"When running at full capacity at our new place here at Oak Street, we will produce 12,000 boxes of crackers in four hours," Brady said at a ceremony on Tuesday morning. 

The search for the new space began, when she won the $1 million prize in the 43North business competition in 2021. 

"It's all about the community and thanking everyone and making sure they know they've been part of the ride," Brady said. "We haven't done this on our own and we've had some great partners, some great customers, suppliers."

As Top Seedz celebrates their new home, 43North is kicking off its 10th anniversary. 

"For the people ten years ago, maybe even 12, when the vision and foresight to believe that an economic development initiative,  the world's largest startup competition could take root in a city like Buffalo, attract thousands of applications over the years, and ultimately make a transformational impact, we thank you," 43North President Colleen Heidinger said.

The new Top Seedz factory on Oak Street in downtown Buffalo will produce 12,000 boxes of crackers in four hours.

Applications are now open for the next big startup to come out of Buffalo, a city the New Zealand-born Brady is proud to call her adopted hometown. 

"I couldn't be prouder," she said. "I love sharing it when I'm over in different states and people say to me, oh I thought you guys were just beer and wings." 

Fittingly for the 10th anniversary,  the 43North Finals will take place on October 10th, or 10/10/24.

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