First published @ Like Minds Create

I can’t say I’m a massive fan of the word Mumprenuer. It just makes a business sound like a hobby. But maybe we should celebrate it – being a Mum and an Entrepreneur is pretty bloody amazing.

Mums who run their own businesses as well as raising a family are brave, organised, inspiring, organised, and really organised. The name Mumpreneur just doesn’t seem to give them the credit they deserve.

Either way Brooke Walsh is one of those super-powered parents.

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The former dental nurse has two kids Louie, 5 and Peggy, 2 who she says are the inspiration behind her cracking idea (I promise I won’t make too many cracker jokes ;-).

“If it’s taking time away from your kids” she says “you want to do something worthwhile, you want to do something you’re passionate about.”

A natural entertainer, Brooke and husband Dan held a Christmas in July to celebrate finishing their newly built (seriously gorgeous) house just meters from the beach in Torquay.

“My mission” she reveals “was homemade everything, I didn’t want to buy one single thing.”

“I quickly made a batch of crackers and I was just astounded how yummy they were and it was just stuff I had in my pantry. So every time we had people over I’d do a batch and people wanted to know where I got them from.”

Brooke says she started experimenting with flavours before she came up with three varieties and a business was born. The Cracker Collective offers various sizes of Plain, Poppy and Sesame Seed and Charcoal Lavosh.

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Just 6 months after launching, she’s well and truly cracked the Surf Coast market and Brooke is now expanding to produce grazing platters for events too.

She says she owes a lot of her success to her family, including brother-in-law Simon Bryant, who runs the restaurant 63 Degrees on Geelong’s foodie hub Pakington Street.

“I was very lucky, I’d made some crackers for parties they’d had before and he said these would kill it on a big platter” Brooke explains “He used them for a big catering job and put it on instagram and tagged me. I went from having a few girlfriends follow me to like a hundred overnight. They put it on their menus and everything just grew from there.”

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Despite her early success though, Brooke says, it took a lot of guts to put the product, and herself, out there.

“Because I’ve lost confidence, because I’ve been out of the workplace for so long” she confessed, “I’m fine to cook and I’m fine to come up with new flavours and varieties on my own but it was the business side that I was really intimidated by.”

But with the help of her mentor Simon and the rest of her supportive family, Brooke says, there’s no looking back.

“I’m just really proud to show my children Mum’s doing something she loves. Mum’s not just doing something just to do it and spending time away from us. For them to still see me clean the bath yet when we walk into shops I just get a real buzz when they’re with me and we deliver them. I’m a better mum, more grounded, more rounded, more prioritised because of this.”

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The Cracker Collective are on the menu at 63 degrees in Geelong and at Woodhouse Cafe in Belmont. They’re also stocked in Peach’s, Torquay, Geelong Fresh Foods, Harvey’s of Highton, Fresh Food Merchant and Farmer’s Daughter Produce in Inverleigh.

You can order platter & crackers direct via

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Stockists

63 Degrees
Woodhouse Cafe
Peach’s

Geelong Fresh Foods

Harvey’s of Highton
Farmer’s Daughter Produce

Photos by Jade McKenzie
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