The story of our company traces its roots to almost a decade before it was founded in 1990. Two brothers, who were coal miners living in communist Czechoslovakia, were destined for very different paths in life. The older brother refused to join the oppressive communist regime, which limited his career choices as well as those of his children. He decided to escape with his family to the United States in search of freedom and opportunity, sparked by seeing the oppression in neighboring Poland during the Martial Law in the 1980s. The family packed up and left for Austria, where they subsequently applied for official immigration status to the United States.
The younger brother moved his family to South Bohemia and joined a "Farm Collective" a group of farms run by the state and forced to collaborate together at the government's whim. In 1989, peaceful protests by students and political dissidents across Czechoslovakia evolved into the "Velvet Revolution" leading to the fall of communism in Czechoslovakia. In the chaos following the transition, the younger brother saw an opportunity to put some of the assets of the former farm collective to new use, and Extrudo was born. He purchased an extrusion machine capable of processing grains and vegetables into a crispy baked "crispbread" similar to a cracker or wafer.
As Extrudo's products began selling outside of Czechoslovakia, the company sought a catchy brand name with international appeal. One evening, while the family was brainstorming suggestions, grandma, who was bilingual in Czech and German, suggested the German word "knusprig," meaning "crisp" or "crunchy." After some deliberation, the more whimsical-sounding brand name "KNUSPI" emerged.
Today, in modern-day Czech Republic, Extrudo operates two large, modern processing plants conforming to the highest quality standards in Europe. The factories hold various certifications, including ISO 9001, BRC, BIO (Certified Organic), and Kosher. Extrudo's products are sold across Europe under brand names such as Extrudo, Crispins, Biscuit, and numerous other private labels. The company has also expanded into wholesale manufacturing of various flours (grain, rice, etc.), vegetable blends, frozen products, and easy-to-prepare box mixes.
Furthermore, the Knuspi® brand is now available in North America! The older brother, his son, and even his grandson are working together to bring Knuspi® and Extrudo products to consumers across the United States and Canada. It is a testament to the perseverance and dedication of the family and the company.