Maine has long been known for its lobster and Wild Blueberries, but if two Western Maine entrepreneurs have their way, the state may be on its way to becoming a hub for organic Granola, too.
GrandyOats founders Aaron Anker and Nat Peirce have been quietly expanding their homegrown business for the last two decades from a renovated dairy barn in rural Brownfield, Maine. In 2013, bursting at the seams and in need of more space for their distinctive hand mixing and baking process, the partners launched a region-wide search for a bigger building. Instead of pulling up their rural roots and moving closer to an urban center, they opted to remain in rural Western Maine.
“The decision to stay put may seem counterintuitive for a mainstream business,” laughs Chief Granola Officer Anker. “But we’re not mainstream. We wanted to support rural jobs and economic development in our home state.”
In 2014, GrandyOats closed a deal to purchase a 13,000-square-foot elementary school in Hiram that had been sitting idle since 2009. The company hired an architect and renovated the schoolhouse into a modern baking and mixing facility that has the warm bohemian feel and delicious aroma of a local bakery.
In the sprawling field behind the bakery, the entrepreneurs installed 288 solar panels, making them among the first net-zero, entirely solar-powered food manufacturers in New England. A stunning new series of videos highlights the new facility, the solar array, and the tale of their growth and laid-back philosophy.
From this new expanded location, GrandyOats creates more than three-dozen organic and gluten-free products, including traditional and grain-free granola, muesli, nuts, and trail mix. Anker notes that his company spends a lot of extra time and money sourcing premium ingredients. “Every month, we buy about 4,000 pounds of locally farmed organic oats, which costs more but it’s the right thing to do. We also source premium organic dried Wild Blueberries because they’re grown nearby, and they’re healthier and tastier than regular cultivated blueberries.”
These intentional decisions and a smart business plan have helped propel the company’s significant growth. GrandyOats sales have rocketed to $5 million in 2015, with sales in thousands of outlets across the country.
A Yummy Product that Uses Wild Blueberries
All of the GrandyOats products are delicious, but we have a special place in our heart for the Wild Blueberry Granola, made with organic dried Wild Blueberries. The packaging for this unique flavor claims it’s made in small batches using “Only the Good Stuff” including organic free oats, organic honey, organic sunflower seeds, and organic Wild Blueberries. It’s also gluten free.
“There’s a wild world of flavor in every bite,” reads the romance language on the bag. Indeed, the Wild Blueberries in this tasty granola are dried and sweetened with organic fruit juice, giving them a perfect chewy, sweet, tangy flavor. A yummy treat for any time of the year.
To order or learn more about GrandyOats visit www.grandyoats.com