See how making hand-made granola with fresh, organic ingredients for her child’s birthday party turned into a booming (and delicious) business.
So long stale, boring, store-bought granola. There’s a new granola in town, hand-made with love and good-for-you ingredients.
“Grandola Granola is gourmet clustered, small batch granola that’s made by hand with local and organic ingredients,” says owner Jamie Coates-Donohue. “[We have] seasonal based names with deep, unique flavor profiles.”
In March of 2018, Grandola Granola turned four years old. “I use a commercial kitchen in Newport through the Incubator Kitchen Collective,” Coates-Donohue says. “It’s hectic, but it works for me right now with future plans being put in place for Grandola’s own kitchen and office space.”
The inspiration behind starting the business came from her daughter, Ella. “Just before her second birthday, I started making granola for her. After looking online and through recipe books, I created my first batch with Ohio maple syrup and organic ingredients I’d gotten in the bulk section at Whole Foods. It seemed moist when it was done baking, so I flipped it and let it sit for a few days,” she says. “When I checked again, it was chunky paradise! I used some of the pan for goodie bags as Ella’s party favors. That lead to making batches for other people. So, within six months, I created the LLC.”
Grandola Granola offers wholesale bags, jars and bulk to restaurants, markets, businesses, event planners and universities, retail bags, jars, sample sets, and bulk to customers at markets and events. “We have four flavors in original and gluten free that are sweetened with Ohio maple syrup. Ella’s favorite was my very first flavor, which has Madagascar vanilla, cherries and cranberries,” Coates-Donohue says. “Summer Time is my favorite, which has blueberries, dates and orange oil. Autumn’s Best shares my love of chai tea spice with apricots and cranberries. Vibrant Winter has cacao powder (raw cocoa), raspberry extract and figs.”
The mission of business is “to create the most natural granola we can, while holding the highest standards and integrity for the product,” she says.
Coates-Donohue says she’s proud of the business, and legacy, she’s creating for herself and family. “Grandola is female owned by a mom, and it gives all generations strength that at any age you can set goals and achieve them. We wouldn’t have the success we’ve had if it weren’t for our community of friends and family who help it grow,” she adds. “From the start, it was crucial to use as many local resources as possible. Our extracts, maple syrup and print work all come from Ohio. Also, being accessible at markets, events and popups keep our brand community-based.”