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The story of GrandyOats begins in the lakes region of Western Maine, where a homegrown enterprise was nurtured with mountains of oats, nuts and honey, and the firm belief that business is as much about having fun as it is about making money.
For GrandyOats Head Honcho Nat Peirce, the journey started on the beach in his home state of Maine; led to a tour of our nation’s natural wonders; and included work on some small farms in Arcata, California. Eventually, Nat landed back in Maine where he opened a vegetarian bakery and café, started raising a family, and in 1997 purchased the GrandyOats business from Sarah Carpenter and Penny Hood who had founded the small granola baking company in Farmington in 1979.
Meanwhile, Chief Granola Officer Aaron Anker, was being “home-schooled” in his Grandpa Lew’s fish restaurant in upstate New York where he learned the meaning of genuine customer service that still guides his work today. Aaron also tried out the corporate world, worked in the natural juice business, and managed a vegan restaurant in Aspen, Colorado, before jumping on the granola wagon in 2000 and joining in full partnership.
Nat and Aaron first met when they were both Volkswagen-bus driving students at the University of New Hampshire. Each had considered a life in the corporate world. But neither was sure that they could kick off their Birkenstock sandals for dress shoes. After a lucky encounter at a concert in Portland, Maine, the two decided to join forces. Today, Nat and Aaron together employ a grand GrandyOats family of 20 employees to produce hand-made small batches of organic granola, muesli, trail mix, roasted nuts and hot cereals. For Nat and Aaron, business has also become an intentional way of life that they believe can and should nourish people, the planet, and our communities. This, among other reasons, is why they call themselves REAL GRANOLAS. Yes, they know that GRANOLA is commonly understood as a breakfast cereal, but also REAL GRANOLAS are a certain class of people who are committed to living a natural, healthy, intentional lifestyle.
With the mission of sourcing the most wholesome organic ingredients and keepin’ it real, Nat and Aaron and the rest of the GrandyOats family partner with local, organic, and non-GMO producers to create the taste that nature intended. GrandyOats never uses refined sugar or artificial ingredients in its recipes. Certified organic by Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association (MOFGA) and certified Kosher, GrandyOats never uses products that contain antibiotics, synthetic hormones, toxic pesticides or GMOs.
GrandyOats is a rural Maine company that employs rural Mainers. In November 2015, GrandyOats will move operations of its hand-made, small batch organic products to a former elementary school in Hiram, Maine and go 100 percent solar, becoming the first net zero food production facility in New England. The reclaimed school will generate more than 95,000 kWh of clean, renewable energy on an annual basis. The system will offset over 145,000 pounds of greenhouse gas emissions each year, or the amount of miles equivalent to driving from Hiram, Maine to San Francisco, California and back 25 times. GrandyOats will become the largest employer in Hiram, adding 50 percent to the employment base with living wage- as well as potential future jobs.
GrandyOats organic products are now available nationwide in a variety of bulk sizes and packaging options in natural food stores, food cooperatives, major grocery chains, and online at www.grandyoats.com.
For more information and granola wisdoms, visit www.grandyoats.com. GrandyOats is also on Twitter @realgranolas, Instagram @grandyoats and Facebook www.facebook.com/GrandyOats.
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