The story of the REAL GRANOLAS who run GrandyOats started in the lakes region of Western Maine, when a homegrown enterprise was nurtured with mountains of oats, nuts and honey, and with the firm belief that business is more about having fun than it is about making money. For us, business has also become an intentional way of life that we believe can and should nourish people, the planet, and our communities. This, among other reasons, is why we call ourselves REAL GRANOLAS.
Yes, we know that GRANOLA is commonly understood as a breakfast cereal, but REAL GRANOLAS are also a certain class of people who are committed to living a natural, healthy, intentional lifestyle. Don’t be fooled by our laid-back vibe, our VW busses and our casual appearance, if you’re a GRANOLA HEAD, then you know it means you’re living with PLANET CONSCIOUSNESS. And we hope you’ll join our movement.
How Did We Get Here?
For 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 purchased the GrandyOats biz from founders Sarah Carpenter and Penny Hood.
Aaron Anker was “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.
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 remains Head Honcho at GrandyOats, and Aaron is Chief Granola Officer. Together, they employ a grand GrandyOats family of 20 employees.
Our passion for freshness and customer service can be traced to the early days of GrandyOats, when Nat streamlined an optimal system: Take orders on Monday, bake them on Tuesday, and get the granola to the stores on Wednesday. These simple goals are behind everything we do today, and you can count on a fresh delicious bite every time.
Keepin’ it Real
Things got cookin’ quickly after Nat and Aaron joined forces, as the two applied their worldview to their new business. They established core values for the company and started to evaluate every aspect of their efforts, from the way they sourced ingredients, to the policies they established for their workers. Stated simply, Nat and Aaron believe in supporting people, profits and the planet—they consider these to be the only true measures of prosperity.
Nat and Aaron believe that business can be an extension of who you are and what you believe. Here are some of the principles we live by each day:
- Handmade food mixed in small batches tastes better.
- Source local organic ingredients whenever possible.
- Organic food can help sustain our planet’s resources.
- Sugar is not needed to make delicious food.
- No artificial anything. Ever!!
- Business collaboration and local partnerships can make a deeper impact.
- You don’t have to be related to have a family business.
- Renewable energy will be the future.
- Answer our customers’ needs while balancing our own work, life balance.
There’s a reason that Nat, Aaron and the rest of the GrandyOats family still spread the word from a van plastered with peace signs and bumper stickers. The “Oatswagon” reminds us that the ideals that inspired our journey are essential to keeping us on course in the years ahead.
GrandyOats has made a promise to its family of workers and to YOU. These REAL GRANOLAS plan on always keepin’ it real.
From 1910 Dairy Barn to Renovated Schoolhouse Powered By the Sun
We’d been mixing up oats and honey for 14 years from a historic dairy barn in Brownfield, Maine. This rural location provided an exquisite place to live, make granola and create yummy new products. But in 2014, we realized we were bursting at the seams and needed a new location with more space. The rivers and mountains of rural Maine have shaped the spirit of our company and we knew we wanted to stay here. So in 2015, GrandyOats purchased and renovated an abandoned elementary school in Hiram, Maine, converting it to a state-of-the art 100% solar-powered facility that is now our new home.
We are proud to say that this custom-designed solar system will power 100% of our energy needs. That means our ovens, our computers, our forklifts, our lights, our heating, and our cooling will be powered entirely by the sun. Yes, that means no carbon fuel on the premises!
With this move, GrandyOats also instantly became the largest employer in Hiram, and we’re proud to provide living-wage jobs and a new spirit of optimism to this beautiful town. We expect to be here making granola and all kinds of delicious foods for a very long time to come!