Marian Harris, entrepreneur and founder of PARTNERS Crackers, passed away on Monday, September 27, 2021. Harris' death was announced by her daughter, PARTNERS CEO Cara Figgins.
As a restauranteur, recipe innovator and steward of several iconic business, Harris leaves a celebrated legacy and a growing company with award-winning products that are sold worldwide.
Harris found initial success serving homemade soups and salads in downtown Seattle, but came up empty-handed when looking for quality crackers to accompany her meals. In her true entrepreneurial fashion, Harris developed her own unique recipe. After realizing how popular they had become, she set off to start a new business selling her quality, homemade crackers—a perfect "partner" for any food. Thus, PARTNERS Crackers was born.
Founded in 1992, PARTNERS is a family-owned success story. In addition to Harris' daughter at the helm of the company, her son, Greg Maestretti, serves as the company's COO. Together, they mourn the loss of their mother and honor her entrepreneurial spirit that set the foundation for PARTNERS.
"Our mother wasn't afraid to try new things, and those risks paid off," said Cara Figgins, PARTNERS president and CEO. "We have sustained a strong business through many challenges. After my mother took a step back from day-to-day operations, my brother and I continued to lead PARTNERS toward growth and new opportunities. Today, we're thriving."
PARTNERS produces about 11 million crackers each day at its 150,000 square-foot plant in Des Moines, WA, an expanded facility to which the company moved in 2017. Producing four brands with a wide variety of cracker sizes, flavors, and ingredients, PARTNERS employs over 90 people and sells in all 50 states and across the world. In 2019, Seattle Business Magazine awarded PARTNERS its Gold Family Business Awards for midsize companies.
"We are committed to being a company that provides better food to more people," said Greg Maestretti, PARTNERS COO. "As a family-owned business, our priority is to serve our customers, our community, and to honor our mother's legacy."