6.23.2014

Interview with GrandyOats

"Some people say we look awfully young to have been baking granola for 30 years. Well, they’re right. To a certain degree. But really, the story of GrandyOats is one of two generations of “granolas,” two generations of business partners with the same spirit and guiding principles." You can read about their story here.



"At GrandyOats our sustainability statement guides our actions as a business. We believe we are responsible to be a good community member, in the state of Maine, the Mount Washington valley and in the organic food industry.
Rural Maine has always been a part of GrandyOats and we are committed to employing people in an area that has limited employment opportunities. We also feel that organic farming is an important way to preserve our rural communities by not polluting our environment, helping smaller family farms flourish and by increasing farmable land.
Our partnerships are also important part of our business practices. We have chosen to partner with like-minded organic businesses. These partnerships are designed to help each other flourish and to better achieve success in our shared missions to increase organic farming and organic food consumption. We also have chosen to buy ingredients from worker owned farms when possible. We try to source our ingredients and services as locally as possible to cut down on carbon emissions and to help keep our relationships and our local community thriving. We have not taken outside investment in our company other than loans from local community banks. This has allowed us to make decisions based on what is the most sustainable path not the path to the best dividend or return on an investment.
Our Barn is also a large part of who we are. Not only does it provide character to our company but its 1910 structure is intact and because it was built with good design and good materials, it has with stood time and the weather of Maine. It is a metaphor for who we are. A company built on a solid foundation here to stay.
"

Sarah Velasco: What types of products do you have?
GrandyOats: Organic Granola, Oatmeal, Trail mix and roasted nuts. Everything is hand made in small batches

Sarah Velasco: What are your top three bestsellers?
GrandyOats: Classic Granola, Swiss Style Muesli, High Antioxidant trail mix 



Sarah Velasco: Why Organic?
GrandyOats: Two reasons. First off we are what we eat and plants become what they are produced with. I have never believed that it was good to spray a plant with something that would kill a bug and then put that spray in your body. Secondly, our earth does not need more pollution. Petroleum based fertilizers and pesticides designed to last are not good for our land, water and the things that live in it. We believe in having an affordable product that serves the best possible health for our consumers. Its that simple!

Sarah Velasco: Can you tell us the importance of Non-GMO?
GrandyOats: Genetically modifying seeds and plants is something that scares me. Many things in life you can hit the redo button. The environment you can even clean up, to an extent. But when you are talking about seeds that are as old as time. When you splice those and dice them and then they blow to another farmers field, forever altering his field and crop that's permanent.. We are altering the very seeds that built our human race. When you talk about one company owning a patent on a seed, and it does not reproduce because they took that gene out. You have to consider how you feel about one company owning a patent on a food source. That to me is scary. And this is potentially impossible to correct. 

Sarah Velasco: Are there common misconceptions about granola?
GrandyOats: Many people think oh Granola is fatty. I like to say how many people do you know that eat granola each morning that are overweight? Not many! Our product is full of real, clean, food. Ingredients that nourish and sustain the body, not empty calories. It is very rare to have a product like ours in the mainstream market that is still so minimally processed; it's processed foods that have a lot of extraneous ingredients that are unhealthy. Often the fats that are in Granola are healthy. The fat in our granola only comes from nuts, seeds and plant based oils. We are more concerned if it is too sugary, most of our competition granola tastes like a broken up cookie and that is really the thing that I worry about in the American diet, the over processing. Many dietitians are currently saying sugar is much worse then fat.

Sarah Velasco: Can you tell readers a delicious recipe to try?
GrandyOats: We have so many recipes. When you own a granola company, you find creative ways to eat and use granola. After all at my wife and my wedding we asked our guest to throw granola at us. No seriously, Our favorite one is to do a granola crisp topping. I suggest using maple syrup and mixing it with granola and putting it on top of sliced apples or strawberries and Rhubarb. Our Swiss Style Muesli is delicious soaked overnight in the fridge cup for cup with coconut milk, add some pineapple or banana! We have so many here are some specific recipes on our web site http://grandyoats.com/index.php/recipes.

Sarah Velasco: Where can readers find your products?
GrandyOats: We are available in Co-ops and Independent grocers around the country. You can find us in Whole Foods from the Mid west, down to Florida and up to New England. We are available in several other major retailers on the East Coast, including Hannaford, and Wegmans. You can find us in the bulk section or in our pre packaged containers. You can always find us online. Online we offer bulk products at affordable prices and we offer free shipping over $35.

Sarah Velasco: Anything else we should know?
GrandyOats: At GrandyOats we love what we do. We pride ourselves on making sure we only use ingredients that we understand and that we can feel good about having in our own kitchen. We always try to make sure we don't work too hard; we value the quality of life that we offer ourselves and our staff, we want everyone to have time for their family and friends. We believe in a balanced life that gives back to our community.