When I saw a display boasting the words “gluten-free” at MJ Unpacked NYC 2022, I quit snapping pictures of the event and immediately headed to the booth calling my name. I’ve been in the industry for several years now, and a consumer long before that, yet never been able to eat an infused brownie or cookie from a legal source. And there I was, standing in front of Eric + Eric’s booth, complete with samples of real (but uninfused) baked goods that looked and tasted decadent.
If you’ve never baked gluten free before, let me tell you, it’s not always easy. I’ve been trying for over a decade and I still struggle. But it’s doable, with time and patience. “Our double chocolate chip took six recipe versions to get the right taste and texture,” explains Eric Braddock, co-founder of Eric + Eric. “I did our lemon shortbread probably ten times to get the texture right. It’s all about making sure it has the right mouthfeel.”
Braddock does all of the research and development at home in his kitchen. Both he and his wife, Adrienne Novak, are award-winning culinary professionals who operate a non-infused bakery called Eban’s Bakehouse in Columbus, Ohio. Novak and Braddock are also both veterans, and Braddock says cannabis helps the two with lingering effects from their days serving in the military.
Adrienne has more than two decades of experience as a chef in country clubs, restaurants, hotels, and gourmet markets, while Eric has founded multiple restaurants and prepared meals for celebrities. Rather than get too involved in the weed side of things, they create and perfect their recipes, provide the flour blend for their employees, and train the staff so they can make the edibles just as well as the head chefs. “Whenever we roll out a new flavor, we will fly out and teach the staff how to make those recipes,” explains Braddock.
Eric and Adrienne have developed their own flour brand and take pride in their simple ingredients lists. “If you’re taking medicine, you really want to know what’s in it,” he explains. “I don’t want to eat something with a bunch of chemicals in it while I’m trying to get well.”
Speaking of ingredients, the company is expanding from the baked goods realm into some other creative treats. “I’m making some turtles right now,” he told me as we chatted on the phone. He’s put together a simple process that makes R&D at home and infusion later possible. “We will make these turtles and just not put the top layer of chocolate on. The candy will already be made, so the processors will just have to put the right amount of dosed chocolate on top to finish it.”
Though thriving in their corner of the midwest, the team is ready to expand Eric + Eric beyond Ohio’s medical market. “We want to go to Michigan because it’s right next door,” Braddock says. “We’re just looking for another processor. I think by the end of the year we’ll be in another state, I’m just not sure what will come first.”
Adrienne takes care of the company’s marketing, participating in education days and building relationships with customers and other industry workers. “We found that really getting in front of the budtenders makes a huge difference,” explains Braddock.
In Ohio, this is particularly important, because they’re not allowed to offer uninfused samples to customers. “Not being able to give samples to customers and let them try it before they buy it is hard,” he explains. “I don’t understand it. It’s not a dosed sample. It’s just giving away a piece of baked good.”
Fortunately, their products speak for themselves visually. The small, adorable cubes stand out from the crowd long before anyone takes a bite, and discovers delectable flavors like browned butter honey pistachio, turtle brownie bites, and white chocolate cherry oatmeal. .
So we’ve got a small, husband and wife team making delectable infused treats. We know co-founder and chef Eric Braddock, but where’s Eric + Eric’s other…Eric?
Well, it’s in the name. Exceptionally Righteous Infused Cannabis. Can’t argue with that.