At the start of a new year, I look back on the previous year and use my experiences and challenges to motivate and shape the next. After an amazing 2015, I felt armed to tackle 2016 from the perspective of a wholesaler, ready to market my product to retailers. While I obviously have business goals and plans, I also take each step in the granola world one day at a time. Always feeling well-planned and scheduled for the months ahead of me, I like to think I give myself more time to live in the present, and being present at the start of 2016 certainly allowed me to be available for collaborations with other small businesses.
In early February I had the pleasure of attending the store warming party of The Local Grocer’s newest location in downtown Flint, MI. As a vendor at the event, I sampled my product to new customers and met some of my existing customers and connected with other makers and artisans.
February also highlighted the debut of my collaboration with Foster Coffee Co., a craft coffee shop that opened in downtown Owosso, MI in December, 2015. With an exciting and hip yet warm atmosphere, Foster Coffee Co. is a perfect fit for Happy Girl Granola. Along with house made pastries, Foster Coffee Co. now serves granola by the ounce on their menu. In the spirit of collaboration, I was also invited to attend the Downtown Owosso Chocolate Walk as a vendor at Foster Coffee over Valentine’s Day weekend. During the event I sampled out a new flavor of granola: maple, walnut & chocolate as well as a limited production of cherry, almond & chocolate granola. The most rewarding part of this collaboration was the opportunity I had to connect with not only customers, but members of my own community where I chose to start my small business. It was heart warming to hear the reactions of those who looked at my bag and said, “oh wow, it says, ‘Owosso’ on it!” and to meet people who happened to be visiting family in Owosso who lived in California and just excited to try some new granola. Friends, old and new, stopped by to say hi, try some granola and grab a cup of coffee. I’m proud to live in the same town where I grew up and to run my business from the same location, but I am also very lucky to have support and encouragement from that same community.
So far, without having planned it, 2016 has marked the beginning of a year of collaborations. Cherry almond granola on the menu at Foster Coffee Co. is just the beginning. This collaboration has inspired me to pair up with other businesses in Michigan and you can look for Happy Girl Granola being available to you through many other collaborative efforts throughout 2016.
Photo credit: Whitney Dedic