And we're back--- Greater Goodness for your end of summer and fall appetites

As your mourn the end of summer (and fist pump as the kids get back to school), you can raise a glass of your final rosé and celebrate the re-opening of the Greater Good Granola kitchens!  

We took a baking break, swam in the Puget Sound, relished the wild blackberries within reach everywhere, got a ton of vitamin D and now, and we heard from a bunch of you that you missed your granola. We're back! And we're ready to bake and sell some granola for the greater good! 

We are proud to announce we have scratched a check for $1,700 to our community partners at City Fruit! They have been great partners for us and we're so glad to support their efforts. Thank you for all of your purchases to make that donation possible. 

Greater Good Granola will once again be offering its profits for this fall quarter toFamily Works and soliciting our spring non-profit partner from all of you at the end of the year!

So, what are you in store for this fall?
- We've still got the GGG Subscription program:  1 x month a full 2 pound jar awaits you on my porch. This also can happen via mail for you non-Seattlites. 

-1 pound pouches,these can be ordered alone (one pound one-offs) and placed on the porch or shipped. 

-Gift shipments and holiday orders (we'll be taking those beginning mid- October) 

-Granola bars! A few of you got to purchase and enjoy these beauties. We'll bring them back once we get production up and running. 

-T-shirts- we'll like order another batch if there is enough demand.

Place your orders today.

Yours in Greater Goodness,
Mandy

Summer Promotion- all you ever wanted

Greetings Greater Good Granola friends-
    Summer approaches and it is time to get your granola gifts and personal supply to last you through a small hiatus of the GGG kitchen. (We will shut down July 10-Aug 20).
    We are offering the same promotion as we did over the holidays, buy 12 pounds get 2 free!*   These 1 pound pouches make perfect end of the school year gifts, host gifts, and self-gifts to have throughout the summer, when camping or hiking, etc!  Even if you don't want 12 pounds, let us know the amount you need and we'll make it happen. This is our final push for City Fruit and we'd like to scratch them the biggest check we possibly can!  
 Finally, we were written up in Family Works Annual Report (see page 6) and we are honored.
Yours in Greater Goodness,
Mandy 


March Madness= Greater Goodness

March Madness is upon us. 

Spring sports have fired up, carpools aren't fully in place yet and suddenly all things feel a bit crazy. This madness doesn't mean there cannot be goodness- Greater Good Granola goodness. Let's fire up spring orders so that we can amass a generous donation for our new community partners at City Fruit! 


Here are a few reasons to stock up on GGG to confront the madness of March: 
-A fun new bracket office pool prize: GGG pouches! (Dickie V would be proud!)
-A great snack to keep in the car whilst schlepping kids to and from Spring sports. (Granola bars may be in GGG's future?!)
-Spring breakers- why not take a few pouches along for the plane and to offer your generous hosts? (Granola is trending in Daytona Beach.) 


Get your March Madness, Greater Goodness on my friends.

Place your orders today.

Yours in Greater Goodness,
Mandy
 

End of the year GGG Investor Report

GGG Supporters-

The first year for Greater Good Granola is coming to a close. 

Thanks to all of you, these first few months have been really terrific. The porch program has a regular following with over 15 monthly subscribers, people from across the country have been ordering over and over and holiday orders were insane. 

Because of your orders and your commitment to buying granola that does good, FamilyWorks received a generous donation of $1500 today! 

Now that the costs of the majority of my initial investments (logo design, website, cottage permits, equipment, a small start-up investment by me and Clay) are covered and my monthly costs (ingredients, electricity, packaging) are more predictable, GGG should be able to donate even more money this next quarter.

I have heard from several of you about organizations you'd like to see the next round of donations head towards and I'm taking your suggestions to heart. I plan to contact a few organizations to learn more and land on a decision late next week. 

Thank you for helping me make this dream a reality.  We all know that altruism is ultimately somewhat selfish because when we do something good, we get the feel-good too. Thanks for all of the good you've given me and to the community.

Looking forward to 2015!

Best,

Mandy

p.s. T-shirts have arrived. There are only 75 for the taking!  ($18 each, stay tuned for more info!) Hint: they are pretty darn cute!

 

Honored to be Honored

Today I was invited to speak to a bunch of 4th graders who are Kind, Brave & Awesome over at Queen Anne Elementary School.  What a treat! My dear friend Julie Colando, otherwise known as the most talented and amazing elementary school teacher I have ever met, invited me to talk to her class. Julie had been telling the kids about Greater Good Granola for a while- she is fan, a monthly subscriber and she even has been a distributor for me to parents on Queen Anne that she has convinced to eat my granola.  As I was driving over to her school, I thought about what I might talk about and how I really had never attempted to explain why I started this little company and why I am keeping at it. 

I walked into the classroom and the above was written on the whiteboard at the front of the classroom. My talk had been outlined for me beautifully by the class in advance of my arrival. I sat down and spent the next 45 minutes explaining my story and the "birth" of GGG.  

I began by talking about the good- the lifelong inclination I've always had towards making the world better. I explained that my parents had instilled in me a sense of responsibility to give back to my community. I talked about my career (the work I do from 9-5) and how I have chosen to focus my client work on this same thing- guiding companies on how to succeed by using values and ethics as guide posts and competitive advantages.

I then talked about the granola. When I started to talk about the granola, I surprised myself when I relayed the number of steps I have taken to start this little company: the recipe testing with friends, the tasting of other granolas, the photography session in my kitchen, the meeting with Molly Moon's chef to discuss my ingredient choices, preparing for the Department of Agriculture's visit, the logo creation (and many iterations to get it right), the packaging decisions, the pricing decisions, building the website, starting the blog and getting my "retail" legs under me.  My story sounded pretty thorough and played like a true businesswoman.  And then the kids started asking questions. 

How did you set your goal for how much money to give away? 

When are you going to be able to sell the granola in stores?

Do you eat a lot of granola?

And I loved trying to answer some of those questions honestly:

- Goals: I really didn't have a goal for how much money to give away  because I had no idea if this was going to work. As I move forward and have some sense of monthly sales and my costs, I'll be able to set goals for donations quantities.

-Selling in stores: I would need to get a commercial food license and stop making the granola in my home in order to sell the granola in stores. I'm not quite sure I'm ready for that next step. 

-Eating the granola: Yes. I eat a lot of granola. I try every batch - usually in a little ramekin with milk. (and at other times I eat it by the handful, on yogurt, on ice cream). And after all of this, I think still think it delicious.

And what I tried to express to these bright and curious minds in the end that I feel so passionate about is: 

-It is fun to take risks about things you care about.

-Look at product development and consumption through a lens of trying to do better- excellence in design and delight in consumption is elevated when there is a higher purpose. 

-Bringing together community around a great product and a cause creates a unstoppable energy that is contagious and leads to goodness. 

-Having a group of people who believe in you and support you is essential to be successful in whatever you do.

As I was leaving, the class started to work on a word problem based on my GGG story telling. The photo below is Juile's write up of the problem which she put on the overhead and the kids started to do the math.  I didn't stay to hear them solve the equation -- I know the answer all too well!

   

 

 

This equation doesn't include the time for weighing, bagging, stamping tags and tying ties  nor does it acknowledge the helping hands I relied on this December- Hillary (our nanny) cranking out batches, Jordyn (our former nanny) tying the tags, Anna (our friend) tying the bags and Clay for tolerating oats all over the burners, bags and tags throughout the house and lots of late night baking! 

 

The Greater Good Holiday Spirit

The time is here. Art Fairs selling little trinkets, ornaments and decorative mugs lining the shelves of Starbucks. To gift or not to gift- that is oft the question. Maybe the question should be, if I gift, how can I make it more meaningful this year? How can I be sure that while delighting a friend or a relative I am also making my community better?

These are questions that can be solved quick and simple with Greater Good Granola. I personally am going into the holiday season feeling so very proud of my friends and family and their support of this little company. I am delighted that they are passing up the chance to pay $8-12 for a bag of granola that tastes good (not great mostly) and doesn't do anything other than fill their bellies and the pocketbook of the seller. 

Things are about to get nuts at GGG- so far we're nearing 100 pounds of granola pre-ordered for the holidays. This is the perfect DIY without any D. Friends are ordering bags with gift tags and some are ordering 10 pounds in bulk and plan to put it in their own jars, using GGG tags and distribute to their friends.  A dear friend just ordered 35 pounds. Like I said, things are about to get nuts.

Breaking GOOD- inspiration for a new hit show?

The first month of Greater Good Granola has been so exciting. Monthly porch subscribers signed up, lots of people came to try samples on the porch, one pound bags flew out the door and shipments went across the country.  Friends have told friends, Wallyhood covered us with such a nice piece, people have come to the porch and granola has been eaten throughout Wallingford and Seattle.  We are on track to donate close to $1000 to Family works by the end of the year through the sales and consumption of delicious granola made in my home and purchased on my porch! The people at Family Works, our first community recipients, are thrilled and plan to have several jars of Greater Good Granola at their annual dinner fundraiser

I am floored by the community support, the friends who keep cheering this little pet project on, and the response from strangers.  I am grateful for my dear friend Julie who is recruiting new customers on Queen Anne- taking samples from the granola box on the porch to her friends and colleagues. I also have my girl Rachel in West Seattle who has fired up a bunch of buyers over there by offering to buy a second set of jars to distribute to her friends via her porch. This little business couldn't happen without my community, my dear friends and  together we're all doing one heck of a job of breaking good, greater good.

Let's see what the next few months bring. October subscriptions are open for the taking!

 

 

 

A porch is a place of gathering

I have always craved more of the "stop by" to combat the feeling one can get of isolation in a city where we have no blood relatives (well, now a cousin has finally moved her, yay Ace Levenberg). While I still don't really understand the famous Seattle freeze, I do know that in our busy lives we can go days between dear friend sitings, let alone neighbors. 

Our times on Vashon have been good reminders to practice slowing down, talking a bit longer with a stranger or new friend, getting comfortable with more simple days and building community just about everywhere- at the Bill's bread display at the grocery store, on the porch of the coffee roastery or while eyeing the tomatoes at a roadside farm stand.  

As we've been back and started the daily ritual of walking down the hill to school and up the hill to pre-school, I had noticed that Wallingford has a few more places for us to stop, slow down and connect. The fruit trees are amazing right now and stopping to climb up and grab beautiful apples and plums had provoked conversations with strangers about best recipes and ways to get the worm free apples from the top branches. The little urban libraries scattered about provoke us to think of what books we might want to share with neighbors. The sweet flower stand (have you seen the orange umbrella and the table on 42nd street?) of a neighbor allows for you to pick a bouquet and pay what feels right, what you can. I call these velcro points-  ways for us to connect and to feel community.

This week, I have created another community spot for us to share.  The Greater Good Granola porch program went live and I delighted in hearing footsteps on the stairs from new friends and old who are coming to grab their designated jar of granola.  I have often popped out to say hello.  The girls intentionally sat on our porch swing to wait and see who was coming to our porch next so they could chat with them and tell them any/all important details about their day. I heard from neighbors and friends via phone and email and shout outs from the street corner about how much of their two pound jar they had consumed in just the first day (two of you sent me a photo!). And this is the greatest gift- to be in better touch, to have the spontaneous short connective chat, to know that I'm delighting people with this delicious jar of yum and starting a pot of donations to offer to Familyworks at the end of December. This is truly the Greater Good. 

Should I have a cooler on the porch with milk, bowls and spoons so my granola subscribers will linger a little longer? (or partner with Smith Brothers?) Perhaps I'll do that down the road. For now, I look forward to seeing more of you on my porch to grab the granola, to have a swing, to sit on our bench, to connect. 

 

Community Supported Granola (late night)

Last night, I put the "community" in the Community Supported Granola I am proposing to start in a few weeks.  Around 10pm (my typical granola baking start time), I measure and mixed the GGG super yum ingredients with my big wooden spoon, spread them onto the large hotel baking sheets that I have come to love, put them in the oven and planned to watch the Emmys with my lady bug kitchen timer by my side to remind me stir every fifteen minutes. I had my (late) evening plans all laid out.

The best laid plans…

I was about 15 minutes into the batch (had stirred the product once) and finished with the hoakey opening number of the recorded Emmys when Clay noticed that our kitchen smelled like gas. I had smelled the usual maple syrup and beginnings of coconut toasting goodness but didn’t notice the gas. And then I did. We opened up the windows and the porch door and still the gas smell. After a few minutes Clay declared, “I’m shutting off the oven and the gas, I’m shutting down the Greater Good Granola production until we get this thing looked at by someone tomorrow.”

What to do? The syrup and olive oil were coating all of the nuts and seeds and oats, the granola was ¼ of the way towards golden goodness and I was without an oven. I had a few orders to ship in the morning (yes, people across the country want this granola!), so I did what everyone does in times of need, I called on the kindness of neighbors. I shot a text to my 2nd Ave ladies (I am blessed to have a group of neighbors who I call friends, with whom my children have grown up with, who I shared life stories with over wine on our porches and whom my kids trust and love. I got the luck of living on that block in Wallingford).  Within minutes I got 5 different replies saying, “Come over, you can make it here.”  “We’re up, come.” .

Soon, I was out the door, tote bag on my shoulder with my big stirring spoon tucked in it, hot pads on my hands carrying the double (HOT) trays of granola. I banged my way through our front door, carefully down the porch steps to go around the corner to Loriana’s.  Granted, I’m a little weak from a summer of  very few workouts but these wet oats were heavy. I kind of panicked at the thought of dropping the trays and stopped a few times to lean on parked cars.  I propped the trays on a fire hydrant half way round the block and finally made it up the stairs to Loriana’s. 

The oven was pre-heated (love my ladies!) and I was glad to re-locate and get the granola cooked. I tried to fit the cookie sheets into the oven and could not- too wide. I quickly texted the next generous friend Beca, reloaded myself with the trays (this time leaning the cookie sheets against my stomach since they had cooled but still my wrists shook), down the porch, back around the block and into Beca’s kitchen.  I felt like the wandering granola maker just looking for a home for my goods. 

The oven was again too small for my large trays at Beca's. Beca,her husband and two kids were dedicated to making this work.  Out came the pyrex dishes, the parchment paper, the extra cookie sheets and spatulas. It was like we were transporting fragile treasure as together we carefully moved the oats, pepitas, nuts, coconut and seeds onto smaller sheets and dishes and we managed to fit all of the granola onto the three racks in their oven. After realizing the bottom shelf was a bit too close to the flame (and burning a few small trays of granola to the heat), we got things sorted and I set my timer.

Between stirrings, I got an evening of catch up with dear friends- summer had escaped us and we had lots to share. I got to be with two dear girls who give me a peek into what I have to look forward to with my younger girls as they mature. I got that great feeling of community, of being around people who want to see me succeed, people who are a part of my Seattle chosen family.

I don’t usually look at a broken oven and a night of missed award shows as a gift, but tonight’s mishap was just that. I was reminded of what I already know- sharing kitchens and stories and delicious foods is where I am at my happiest.  And I also learned another thing- burnt granola with some milk in a friend's kitchen late night doesn’t taste half bad.*

(*Oven technician coming out tomorrow- stay tuned. Another 2nd Ave lady already gave me her house key so that tomorrow I can resume production in her kitchen in her huge oven that will indeed fit my two big cookie sheets. Onward.)

 

 

 

 

 

Back to the mainland

My last deliveries of granola as I left Vashon Island. 

My last deliveries of granola as I left Vashon Island. 

For those of you who follow my Facebook/Instagram posts - you likely saw a lot of snapshots of our time in Vashon this summer. Vashon is a treasure for me for so many reasons. I love the scenery- rolling hills, water and beaches all around and insane views of Mt. Rainier and the Olympic mountains. I love the food that the island farmers grow with such care- the cucumbers and strawberries from Sun Island farm, the tomatoes and yellow beans from Pacific Crest Farm and the lovely meats raised by the couple at Midlife Crisis Farms. The farm stands where you can buy these products really make the whole farm to table experience sing. All around the island you can find signs pointing off the road to wooden stands and small farm shacks with fresh produce and a trust system- you leave money in a lock box for the produce you take.

And I love the small island feel, the people you can connect with over coffee on the porch of the Roastery, in line at the Thriftway or while dancing the tango at a concert at Ober park. Vashon is a simpler life, a way to slow us down and a way to remind us about the importance of connection to each other and to the land around us.

On my last morning on the island I delivered three more bags of Greater Good Granola to friends at the Vashon Island Farmers Market. I delivered a bag to David the bowl maker -he is nearly single-handedly preserving the art of turning bowls and he has taught my kids the importance of patience, integrity and art and making beautiful things from nature. I handed a bag over (and got a bag of caramels in exchange) to Hedy the queen of King Caramels - she hand makes the most delicious caramels I’ve ever had and with her spunk is guiding me as I start this company. Lastly, I dropped a bag off for Caleb, the “unofficial” mayor of Vashon Island who runs the farmers market and is helping me have a presence there next year. I will miss Vashon and our friends there. I will miss the quiet and the space. I am returning to Seattle energized and ready to get this company off the ground and I will hold onto what I am reminded of every summer- the importance of connection and community.

It is my hope that Greater Good Granola embodies community and connection- a way for people to come and gather on my porch, to contribute to their community and to enjoy the delicious granola I make.

(Live in Seattle and wanna be a part of the inaugural Greater Good Granola porch subscription starting in September? email me: mandy@greatergoodgranola.com)

Soft launch = sold out

Today was the first day that people other than my dear friends and family have been exposed to Greater Good Granola. A few weeks ago I partnered with Vashon Allied Arts to sell granola at their Bramblefest concert and donate all of the profits to their scholarship fund. So this week (while hosting my in-laws!), I baked about 5 batches of granola (in a smaller oven than I like to use over at our rental in Vashon), figured out a way to rush order a stamp, bought some mail hang tags and cellophane bags to create a little temporary branded packaging, borrowed a card table, bought 1.5 yards of cute orange fabric at the quilt shop in town (to cover the card table), bought a little cash container at Granny's attic thrift shop, worked with the good and quite grumpy people at the print store in town to print (and laminate!) a few signs and show up. 

So I showed up. It was a lovely venue- three little bands mostly Afro-Cuban and Flamenco in a nice spot at Camp Burton.  There were a few other stands- Zamorana tacos, Vashon Baking Co pastries, water, wine and me. Not sure people were coming to the concert planning to go home with a bag of granola. Should I have brought bowls and milk?  I texted Clay, "This is a lovely little event and after sizing things up I do not expect to sell more than 3 bags. Total." I only had 30 bags - I had planned on it being a test-run for me. I wanted to stand behind a (card) table and pitch and defend the product. Everything else was butter. 

Here's what I learned ( and remember from my days as a farm stand employee back in San Francisco with Nigel at  Eatwell Farms):

-Stand (don't sit) so that when people walk near your table you can use body language and words to connect with them. 

-Have your spiel down: "Hi. Would you like to try some granola today? I just started this little company and the granola is really delicious, I make it with maple syrup and olive oil. The other important thing to know- I am planning to give away all of the profits to various charities. Today's profits will go to the Vashon Alliance for the Arts scholarship fund. "

-Sample, sample, sample. Today, out of 30 bags sold, 27 were sold to someone who had a sample. It was so fun to watch. I'd give my pitch, they would wander over and pick up a sample cup. They toss back a few oats, then pick up a coconut ribbon from their cup and chew and start to speak in "yummmmm" and then usually get one of the dried cherries and few more oats into their mouth and say, "wow. this is really good. ". Often they would call their friend over and then he/she would try it and before I knew it two more bags sold. 

The best compliment of the day: A woman and her son came over and picked up a sample cup. The woman started eating it and saying "yumm", "wow, this is really good", "yum". Her son put the whole cup into his mouth and chewed and swallowed in one gulp. "More" was his comment. She then said, "You know, I have had a lot granola in my life. I mean a lot. My parents were practically the original members at PCC Coop and that means there has been a lot of granola for me. This is the very best. I mean it. Wow. This is just so delicious." This woman and her son bought two bags- and told me that they had been the beneficiaries of the scholarship that the granola was funding and they were delighted to buy my granola. This was SUPER.

(Note: The other bags--some guy bought it without wanting to try it, one guy who bought it was my father in law and one woman was a friend Gwen from the island who is in the middle of a cool new side project too-- http://www.whisperingbogbooks.com

So overall, this was a great beginning and gives me pretty good confidence that this granola truly is delicious, that I nailed it on the name and tag line and that it feels good to buy something and know your money is going back into the community. 

Onward. Now I need to figure out this porch subscription program and get people signed up!

And so it begins...

The idea for Greater Good Granola was hatched about 6 months ago as I was talking with Clay (my husband) about the endless granola I was baking (usually after 10:30pm) and how it might be interesting to start selling the granola to benefit the community. I have preached about cause marketing for the my whole career and have helped endless clients get their socially responsible acts together, now maybe I ought to give it a try.

Cooking and baking has been in my bones from both sets of my grandmas, from my mom and her early granola making among other treats and now as an activity with my children. I love making the granola- the process of mixing the ingredients, the stirring of it it every 15 minutes, the smells in the kitchen and beyond and most importantly for me, the gratitude I get when I gift the granola. I have given this granola to neighbors, to dear friends, to family, to colleagues, to anyone in my life who I think would be delighted to receive it.  The granola is yummy- my kids think so, my friends think so and I do too.  Some people eat it dry as a snack, some prefer it on yogurt ( plain Greek seems to be a favorite), some use Almond milk and some (like me) just pour some milk over it and enjoy it in its simplest form. 

I am also super excited about our tagline and meaning behind it, "Greater Good Granola. So good, we give it all away." I want to give away all of the profits. I want to contribute the money from all sales back into the community. I have a long history of service thanks to the example my Grandpa Milt set, my parents, my religion (Tikun Olam) and the group of community-minded people I surround myself with. While I am  sure there will be lots of thinking and iterations to make the donations, the charity selections and the ongoing mission solid, I'm proud to be headed in this direction from the get go. 

I have so many lovely people in my life who have been cheering me on and telling me that I can do this... so here I come. 

The logo is complete (collaborating with Hanna has been dreamy). The website is built (thanks to my dear Britt Freda for showing me the ropes of Square Space). The granola recipe has been tried and tested and is ready to be baked.

Now I just need some customers. As my Grandma Thelma used to say when she was calling us in for dinner,  "Y'all come!!" .

 

 

Food photography, who knew?

My dear friends Jack Coble and Alisa Wyatt were coming to town to shoot some video for their very cool website Pilatesology. (yes that is Alisa on the home page!). Jack is a photographer turned videographer/web guru. I asked him to bring along his camera to take some photos of the granola. 

I sent him an email and said something to the effect of- please bring your camera, it would be nice to photograph the granola for the future if I build a website or need it. He replied, "Let's carve out 5 hours.". Five hours to shoot a tray of granola, maybe do an ingredient shot and one of me stirring with a nice wooden spoon? I thought he was wrong but still got Clay to cover the girls and whipped up a fresh batch of granola to have at the ready. 

Five hours it was, no joke. Jack is the real deal- he's done food photography before with the likes of Martha Stewart and he knew this would be a crazy generous gift to get some great shots.

We put on a good Spotify station with Helio Sequence and others and got to it. I was his assistant and watched him go to work. It really is fun to watch your dear friend in their professional element. The results of his good work and great eye populate the site and the front page shot was really a fluke. Jack had me put all of the ingredients into a bowl to photograph. He stood on our kitchen table to get a good angle down on the bowl. I interrupted him and said, "Jack, wait. Let me sprinkle some of the vanilla salt on here" and he started shooting shots of me doing that and voila, we have such a beautiful photo of my arms and hands above the beautiful ingredients of Greater Good Granola. 

Starting a business

I have determined the name and quickly just bought the URL on Go Daddy. (in ".com" and ".org" forms). 

I have registered the business with the Secretary of State as an LLC. 

I have completed the food handler's permit ( I can talk food borne illness with the best of them).

I have applied for a Cottage Food License and been granted it. (application process = not super easy, thanks to Glorialynn at the Department of Agriculture for pushing my application thru. I offered to send her a bag of granola but she told me that would be considered "bribery").

I spent a few hours with Patrick Patalulot at Wallingford's Wells Fargo branch to open a small business bank account- they are a great resource for someone just starting out. 

I am ready to start this thing. 

 

Sizing the market

I've been keeping an eye out for granola in bakeries and shops for the past year or so to see packaging and prices and to get a sense for the space. This past weekend I spent a glorious three days child-free in San Francisco with my two favorite men- Scott & Bill. We walked many miles, laughed tons and ate at so many of the yummiest spots including Boulette's larder (which his worth stopping to just buy their North African Salt) and State Bird Provisions- which totally lived up to and exceeded its hype).  We also went to one of our old favorite hangouts- the BiRite Market and I was blown away by the granola selection. I spent $55 on granola and I could have easily spent $100. 

I wanted to see packaging, I wanted to see copy and logos and I wanted to see what the granola tasted like. I schlepped it back to Seattle in my suitcase (granola can go through TSA no problem!) and opened each container and tried them all. The result? I did not like any of them. Not one. Some had walnuts, too much cinnamon, no real flavor, too much flavor, too many flax seeds. My kids (they are biased but still) wouldn't eat any of them. In the end, I dumped the whole $50 worth of oats into a large ziplock bag and gave them to my cute neighbors David and Lorianna who were grateful to receive them. 

I kept the packages and have studied the labels but this was all continued fodder for me to do this- the granola I make is delish. Period.  The mission is cool and not happening much in the granola world. Now I just need a name, a logo and a few other MAJOR odds and ends. 

It's my turn

I have been passionate about cause marketing for a long time.

I get excited when I see opportunities for the for profit and non-profit sectors to work together.  I have long believed that the bridge between these two sectors that could be significant for consumers involved a cause attached to a brand, a product created in a cause's name and even more high impact and expected now, a company with a core ethos of corporate social responsibility.  

It is with these beliefs and my understanding of a market that is ripe for a product that is both great and good, I am starting a company. 

It is a funny time to do this. Clay is working on his next plan.  I am about to leave Iconoculture where I've spent 8 years to start my own consulting firm. The risks are high and yet, I cannot wait.  I keep baking batches and batches of granola and the granola is freaking delish. I keep delighting my friends and they keep telling me to sell it. And I remain compelled to give away any profits from the sales of my granola to charity.

So, I'm striving to bring it all together. I'm going to play around on the web to see other models like this (besides Newman's Own), raise my antenna about the granola market in Seattle and beyond, think about a business model for this, explore production costs and ingredient sources.  I'm going to feed this undeniable interest I have in starting a little granola company that makes a difference.