Jane and Jesse Ciccone, who founded Onesto Artisan Crackers (above middle) in Newburyport, were driving to Marblehead for a picnic on the beach when they saw the e-mail saying their company was a finalist in the Martha Stewart American Made competition. “It was the first day off in a year,” says Jane. “We celebrated on the beach.” The annual contest recognizes innovative small businesses and products in the United States. Three other Massachusetts finalists in the food category are Hyde Park caramel maker McCrea’s Candies, salsa producer Nola’s Fresh Foods from Jamaica Plain and Apotheker’s Kitchen of Dorchester, which makes honey-sweetened chocolate bars. Companies submitted an application, which included telling what inspires them. Kate McCrea of McCrea’s Candies, who has a background in biology and chemistry, wrote, “It’s the intersection of science and artistry.” Winners will be announced on Oct. 23 and receive $10,000 in prize money, a feature in a Martha Stewart publication, a trip to New York for a Nov. 7 networking event, and business advice. Martha Stewart Living magazine editors are judging; readers are voting online. Sherie Grillon of Nola’s shouted with joy when she read she was a finalist. “Our bottom line is a product we’re 100 percent proud of,” says Grillon. ” This
contest resonates for us.” www.marthastewart.com/americanmade
ANN TRIEGER KURLAND
Correction: Because of a reporting error, Kate McCrea’s name was misspelled in an earlier version of this story.