To call someone “crunchy” or a “crunchy granola” type of person is to say that he or she doesn’t accept the mainstream way of doing things; they aspire to live a more holistic, natural life; and they tend to be environmentally and socially conscious. Nat and Aaron of GrandyOats are a good example of crunchy granola people — and they proudly wear that label. They even advertise themselves as “real granolas”.
They took over GrandyOats in 1979 and expanded the business to include homemade granola, trail mix, roasted nuts, and hot cereals. Instead of guiding their business by the principle of profit, they chose to go a more unconventional route. They run GrandyOats with the principle that they should help nourish people, the planet, and our communities. They are also really into having fun.
As for the environmentally conscious aspect of being “crunchy”, GrandyOats has that covered. In 2004, all of their products became USDA certified organic and verified non-GMO. With how substantially their business has grown (40 times as much revenue relative to fifteen years ago!), the impact that GrandyOats has on agriculture is significant. They purchase about 300 acres worth of oats annually which otherwise might be converted to conventional agriculture using pesticides and fertilizers.
Speaking of agriculture, GrandyOats commits itself to using as much locally as possible. With the New England climate, it’s impossible to source everything locally, but creativity helps. For example, they sweeten their granola with local honey or maple syrup rather than sugar from sugarcane.
Their most recent achievement as an environmentally conscious business is the installation of 288 solar panels at their new production facility in Hiram, Maine. This renewable energy will make them the ONLY net zero carbon food production facility in New England. 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.
As they made the transition to a brand new facility, Nat and Aaron could have decided to move away from Maine to a more strategic location based on the distribution of their products. However, they’re true to their roots; rural Maine is home and their community is family.
You can find GrandyOats granola at all four DCs on campus!
Read more about GrandyOats here.
Entries are submitted by project staff and UMass students.