Founded in 1889, Dare Foods was born from a passion for great food, hard work and the entrepreneurial spirit unique to small businesses then and now. A family-owned company to this day, Dare has grown far beyond our original storefront, to creating some of the most loved cracker and cookie brands across North America. Over our 132-year history, we have expanded beyond our roots to include nine fully operational manufacturing plants and a team of over 1,400 dedicated employees across the United States and Canada. Then and now, we have never lost sight of our Made Better promise and what matters most when it comes to providing the very best quality, from our family to yours.
No matter how much we grow, we never forget our commitment to “good goods and honest dealing.” A promise our business was founded on over a century ago. It’s thanks to our rich history as a privately-owned, multi-generation family business and our dedicated employees, that Dare can deliver deliciously, quality products made better to meet the changing needs and expectations of consumers.
After over 132 years, we’re more dedicated to producing innovative, high-quality food than ever. Manufactured in the United States and Canada, our range of crackers and cookies is available throughout North America and in more than 50 other countries around the world. And we’re not going anywhere. Dare plans to keep our family and production-based right here in North America, where we began.
Take a journey through our history, starting with our humble roots as a grocery store to where we are today. This is our story.
Charles H. Doerr begins a tradition of favorites by producing and selling cookies and candies from his small grocery store in Canada. Thanks to a strong commitment to the motto “good goods and honest dealing,” it’s not long before these quality products replace sales of general merchandise in the Doerr store.
Now a manufacturing business distributing throughout the Ontario region of Canada, the C.H. Doerr Company incorporates and expands its baking and candy-making facilities.
Carl Doerr joins the company and learns the business from his grandfather, Charles. With the passing of the founder in 1941, Carl takes over the leadership of the company.
The company and family name are legally changed to “Dare” to ease pronunciation outside of the local community. The company starts to expand distribution to all regions of Canada.
Inspired by coffee packaging, Dare introduces chocolate chip cookies in a bag sealed with a “tin tie” strip, allowing consumers to reseal the bag and maintain freshness. It’s an immediate success and becomes the standard packaging for cookies in Canada.
Now a well-established name in all parts of Canada, Dare introduces its quality cookie products to the United States.
Dare’s flagship cracker brand, Breton, is introduced with extraordinary success! Within a few years, Breton and its companion brands, Cabaret and Vivant, are available across North America.
A fully automated soft candy plant is built in Canada, bringing sophisticated European tastes in soft candy to North America for the first time.
Determined to grow as a truly North American food company, Dare constructs a new cracker bakery on a 33-acre greenfield site in Spartanburg, South Carolina.
Iconic and popular chocolate-coated cookie favorite Whippet joins the Dare family of products as an acquisition was made of Quebec-based Culinar in 2001. Dare also becomes Canada’s largest baker of Melba Toast and other fine breads, sold under the Boulangerie Grissol brand name.
In response to growing consumer concerns over nut-based food allergies, Dare becomes one of North America’s first major food manufacturers to declare all of its manufacturing facilities “peanut-free”.
Dare partners with the Whole Grain Council. All Dare products with the Whole Grain symbol contain at least 8 grams of whole grains per serving.
In response to the rising number of consumers looking for gluten-free options, Dare launches Breton Gluten Free crackers, certified by Beyond Celiac.
Dare acquires beloved gourmet cracker company lesley stowe raincoast crisps®. The original artisanal crisps – often imitated, but never duplicated. To this day, raincoast crisps® are baked in small batches at our bakery in Richmond, BC. The range has expanded to offer even more choice, without compromising on simple, premium ingredients and great taste.
Dare celebrates its 125th anniversary of making food better for families. To commemorate the anniversary, Dare goes deep into the forests of Quebec to make a special batch of Dare Maple Crème cookies as old as Dare itself.
Dare acquires Madrona Specialty Foods, adding Croccantini® and Dolcetini® artisan flatbreads and cookies to the family. In keeping with family tradition, Dare preserves the original Italian recipe, baked with highest quality ingredients at our bakeries in Seattle, WA and Charlotte, NC.
Dare Foods was founded on a commitment to honesty and respect for others. Integrity is a core value that we apply to everything we do.
Family and tradition mean everything to us. Since 1889, Dare Foods has remained a family-owned business producing innovative, high-quality snacks from our family to yours.
Quality is our highest priority. Starting with the best ingredients, we are proud of every product that hits store shelves because quality is what we do.
We’ve been perfecting our craft for over 132 years thanks to our continued commitment to growth, innovation and change. We are dedicated to expanding and evolving to meet consumer needs.
Dare Foods started as a community grocery store and now our products are enjoyed in more than 50 countries around the world. As we continue to grow and think globally, we never lose sight of our local mindset and the importance of community.
Our roots are Canadian, but we now produce our delicious range of cookies, crackers, fine breads and candy in facilities all over North America. No matter where we are, our bakeries and production are deeply focused on serving the communities we’re in by hiring locally and providing support for their efforts to improve and grow.