​​In the winter of 2016, I took my last night of Emergency Call for Surgery. At the time, I had been a surgeon for over thirty years. Turns out, you cannot stand over a table for hours on end, year after year, without paying some kind of price. Mine was three discs in my lower back, and the inability to continue the work I had been performing for much of my life.

It became a time of great reflection for me. I certainly did not relish the idea of a three-level lumbar fusion, but I longed to get back to work that I found important and meaningful. So I pondered on the options and decided to go forward with physical therapy and weight loss.  

At the time, I had begun to read a book called Good Calories, Bad Calories, by Gary Taubes, which gave me extensive new insight into human nutrition and inspired me to not only lose weight, but, drawing on my background in biochemistry, to also research the basis of low carb diets.   I embarked on a low-carb diet for weight loss, but plan on continuing due to the health benefits. This has forced me to develop a new set of dietary staples and alternatives for my favorite meals without sacrificing their flavor and the joy of eating.

As I continued, I began to develop my own personal recipes, my proudest being an original low-carb pasta. Pasta, of course, is a food famously high in carbs, so it was tricky to develop a recipe that was actually low in carbs and still tasted delicious. However, after weeks of experimentation, I was able to develop a pasta that had a total of only 8 net carbs per serving, tasted great, and had a nice, strong texture that held up well to cooking and tossing. My family and friends were astonished. A low carb pasta? That still tastes great? Naturally, they wanted to know more--more recipes, more products and ideas for healthy, low-carb living.

My success with the low-carb pasta led my family and me to think about forming a business to sell low-carb goods. After all, I seemed to really be finding my way with my low-carb recipes, and there seemed to be increasing local and national interest in low-carb diets, but a scarcity of good options. We spent countless family meals and drives brainstorming ideas for a business name, thinking through the logistics of the operation, working through the low-carb dietary restrictions and requirements. At the end of it all, Victi was born.

With the creation of Victi came the development of Victi’s very first product: Croccante, an original low-carb cracker whose name is shared with the Italian word for “crunchy” or “crispy.” Again, I spent weeks experimenting with a basic recipe for a seed cracker, adding ingredients such as fresh seeds and herbs, and modifying the recipe until I had something that was texturally sound, very low in carbs, gluten free, and extremely tasty. The response to Croccante has been incredible. After weeks of introducing the crackers to close friends and family, we began to sell them at local farmers markets and family-owned stores across Tehama County, and also started frequenting cheese and wine-tasting events in order to increase the cracker’s exposure. Each and every conversation I have had regarding Victi and Croccante has been a delight, and the consistently positive reviews have been truly gratifying. What began as an outlet for pain-relief after a long career as a surgeon has transformed and evolved into an unexpected career opportunity, and more importantly, a passion for healthy living. It brings our family great satisfaction to share what we love with the world, and we are very excited to keep working, keep growing, and continue sharing. Enjoy!

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Conquering the carb, one recipe at a time