After eating granola bars for over three decades, Margaret Barrow decided to stop complaining about her granola-snacking choices and create her own. As the only vegan among her family members and friends, she envisioned making a treat they all could enjoy. She wanted to avoid crumbling, messy granola bars that dropped half-eaten into the bottom of bags and purses. Margaret found a unique way to turn her toasted granola into balls and shared small batches each week with hungry college students and faculty. They all agreed that these granola balls had a chewy texture with a just-right amount of sweetness.
At first, Margaret was focused on making sure that her students were getting healthy snacks. Over a couple of semesters, they began asking for more and more granola ball snacks to share with their friends and families. She gave them bags of them, creating ten different flavors. At the end of two semesters, students came to her with files of surveys and dumped them on her desk. They informed her that they'd been giving her granola ball snacks to other students and asking them to fill out surveys. She couldn't believe it. As she read through the hundreds of surveys, she couldn't believe that so many people liked her granola balls. They liked the taste and the smallness of them. Her students insisted that she seriously consider starting her own company. But, Margaret still wasn't convinced. She didn't know how to run a company and couldn't fathom taking on another job with her already full schedule. The students contacted her often encouraging her to start her company. Her daughters and husband also talked to her about starting her company. Margaret understood that starting a food company with no experience was going to take a lot of work and commitment. If possible, she wanted to find a way to combine her passion for making healthy snacks and mentoring. She'd spent decades mentoring students and being mentored and believed deeply in these special relationships. So, after much thinking, she informed her students, family and friends that she would start her own food company with one of its mission goals being: to support community college mentoring programs. She has committed 10% of the profits (once the company is profitable) to community college mentoring programs.
"Mentors saved my life, provided guidance and gave me hope. Strong and healthy mentoring relationships can make a significant difference in the healthy choices we make in life," says Margaret Barrow. In living her truth, her mentees Mariem Sanoe and Candice Ricks have joined her in building the company.
Mission Statement: To inspire and promote healthy eating and living.
How? We make snacking healthy by creating delicious and uniquely flavored plant-based snacks. Our first creation is vegan granola ball snacks. Think of us as urban vegan gourmet. With 94%-96% of people snacking 4-6 times a day, we believe that snacking healthy is more important now than ever.
We support mentoring relationships that inspire community college students to follow their dreams. We are strong advocates and grateful benefactors of mentoring relationships.
Core Values: As a company, our values mirror who we are: Caring, Honest, Reliable, Respectful, Hardworking, Accountable, and Committed to creating addictive healthy snacks with attitude and a bold Brooklyn style.
I am Margaret Barrow, Founder of Brooklyn Granola LLC. I am a college professor, vegetarian, and new vegan. I am passionate about eating and cooking healthy meals and snacks for my family, students, and friends. I am also a strong advocate of creating healthy mentor relationships. To me, caring about others means caring about the whole person. I’m not just the creator of these delicious, nutritious granola balls, but I’m also a customer! As I head into the next phase of my life, one of my top goals is to connect Brooklyn Granola LLC with a national mentoring program that mirrors my beliefs in the power of mentoring to save and nurture lives, no matter how young or old.
I am Mariem Sanoe, Co-Owner of Brooklyn Granola LLC. I am a Rutgers University alumna. Though not a vegan, I am a vegetarian six months every year. I consider myself an eat-a-tarian, which means I’ll pretty much eat anything that’s healthy and delicious. As an immigrant to the United States I am excited to be part of a company and experience that is teaching me the benefits of healthy eating habits. Brooklyn Granola LLC has inspired me to spread the importance of healthy eating habits. This experience has also enriched my understanding of how critical mentoring is. Yes, Brooklyn Granola is very much a story of the journey of a mentor and her mentees.
View our story on YouTube: https://youtu.be/z29xJXtY7JY