If you frequent the snack aisle at the Evanston Whole Foods or stop by The Protein Bar in SPAC, it is possible you spotted the glossy bags of crackers with the label Every Body Eat.

The name is attuned to what’s inside; these crackers are free from the top 14 allergens, completely plant-based, gluten free and non GMO, making them suitable for most “everybody.”

Co-founder Trish Thomas is one of Northwestern’s own. A professor in the Farley Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, Thomas often incorporates the lessons she teaches to undergraduate and graduate students into managing her business.

Isabelle May

“It's super important for college students who love food to think about food as an entree to entrepreneurship,” Thomas said.

Her passion for entrepreneurship alone did not inspire Thomas to found her company. She suffered from a variety of auto-immune diseases and was on $2000 worth of medicine until her doctor suggested a change in diet.

Though her symptoms improved after cutting out gluten, dairy, soy, corn and egg, she was left with limited options of what to eat. This inspired her to create a tasty snack accessible to all dietary restrictions.

“Our goal is to literally make it so that everybody can eat,” Thomas said. “To me, success is walking into a party and being able to eat.”

Every Body Eat gained quick popularity after its launch. Those with food allergies rejoiced at the easy snacking opportunity.

It is common for a food free of one allergen to contain another or be manufactured in a facility that handles many of the top allergens, a recipe for cross contamination. Realizing the importance of an allergen-free kitchen and failed attempts at finding a manufacturer to fit her safety standards, Thomas created her own.

Due to widespread success, Every Body Eat will relocate from its original one thousand square foot space to a kitchen thirty times the size.

The brand's most popular products include snack thins with flavors like “Cheese-Less” and “Fiery Chili Lime” and grain-free crisp breads in “Tart Cherry” or “White Pepper Garlic.” Both can be used as breading on chicken nuggets, salad croutons or eaten straight out of the bag. Thomas said the company plans to launch a line of baked goods free of refined sugars soon.

Isabelle May

University of Minnesota senior and Every Body Eat intern Grace Salzsiedler works on promoting the company to a younger demographic through various social media platforms. She connects with influencers on TikTok to promote the crackers in their videos and reach potential snackers.

“It's great because younger kids are trying to, or more recently have been, shifting more towards dietary restrictions, whether that be gluten free, dairy free,” Salzsiedler said. “Those kinds of snacks are hard to come by, especially when they are overlapping.”

Though a pricier option for those on a college budget, Salzsiedler said accessible snacking is invaluable. The price tag is worth a food both delicious and safe to eat. It is important for those with allergies and dietary restrictions to have an array of delicious options.

“Sometimes I say we’re in the miracle business,” Thomas said.

Thomas is excited to see Every Body Eat crackers in 85% of Whole Foods nationally by March 2022.

Allergen-conscious or not, Every Body Eats offers tasty snacks everyone can enjoy. Evanstonians are lucky to have the brand so close to home. 

Photos courtesy of Grace Salzsiedler