Growing up in an immigrant Italian family in the 1970’s you learn three things quickly…how to cultivate veggies and herbs in your backyard garden…how to cook from scratch, by texture, smell, colour and taste…and how to feed and entertain large crowds (we always had lasagna and turkey on the holidays..what do you mean you didn’t)?
Although I didn’t appreciate it at the time (what teenager wants to pick beans in the summer when the beach is calling) and with the then consumer demand of fast and more convenience type foods, (think burgers), I didn’t see my kitchen skills as a plus.
Funny that my 20 year career in adult career training would finally end with me working at a culinary arts college. With my office window overlooking the student kitchen I would watch budding chefs lovingly create unique food combinations and flavours. I was intrigued and my imagination kicked in.
Mark and I have a natural entrepreneurial spirit and have always looked for an opportunity to work together. Thankfully we love hanging out with each other. We have these crazy conversations about everything and nothing, laugh at all our silly habits and quirks, and let go of the small stuff. Working together as husband and wife works for us!
One day while enjoying a glass of wine in our backyard (because every food business starts with a glass of wine), we began tossing around the idea of making simple, better for you breakfast and snack options that people could enjoy while commuting, at the office, on the go and at the cottage.
We started our company Not Yer Granny’s Granola to emphasize that our granola, packed with nuts, seeds and fruits, was closer to a trail mix and different from the 1960’s, traditional, bland, boxed granola found on most grocery shelves.
We started small, baking out of a shared commercial kitchen in the evenings and weekends. We did everything ourselves from baking, packaging, promoting, sales meetings, trade shows, food demos, and delivering.
As I said, thankfully Mark and I love hanging out together, cause for the first two years we barely had a social life, we were baking every weekend (and yes, Mark bakes).
Today we have our own commercial kitchen and retail in independent grocery stores, health food shops, speciality stores, cafeterias and cafes throughout Ontario.
We’ve continued to expand our wholesale bulk division and private label options. The future is bright with opportunities including adding new flavours and expanding across Canada and into the U.S.
Mark and I are still hands on. We’re real people who enjoy hearing from you so shoot us a comment or question. We may be baking, so I’ll answer as quickly as possible. Unless of course you want to come bake with us!
Cheers and have a great day!
Fran and Mark