Thanks to the support from the Cleveland Foundation, I was able to launch Pat's Granola. Their generous sponsorship of Encore Entrepreneur, in collaboration with the Women's Business Center of northeast Ohio made my dream of business ownership a reality.
As the oldest person in the first cohort, I was a little hesitant at first, however, I stuck with it, attending the classes after work. Having had no formal training in food production, what I learned was akin to having a firehose pointed at me. I actually became fascinated by the science of making food. It's not enough to just double or triple a recipe to scale up. The rules of food production are highly nuanced, as I've come to appreciate. Taking the necessary steps to produce food safely, in compliance with state requirements (so that I could ship product out of Ohio) was a critical and necessary process. My patience was truly tested buit I pressed on with encouragement and support from family, friends and colleagues.
Me in the commercial kitchen making my granola.
Labeling bags…definitely not glamorous but a necessary part of the business operation.
I am grateful for the journey that business ownership has taken me. So much going on behind the scenes to make a product "ready" for market.
I started with one business (and only the Tropical flavor) who asked to stock product. This grew to adding two additional flavors and more retail locations, in addition to a website. With each step there was learning. Lots of learning. The pandemic hit and this forced more learning and adaptability.
Would I do this again? Absolutely.
December is a very busy time for a small business like Pat's Granola. Our local partners are stocked with product and we encourage you, if possible, to visit them (listed below) to pick up Pat's Granola as well as the products or services they offer. If you're thinking of ordering items online, please order early to insure delivery. Appreciate you shopping with us!
Pat Bennett is the founder and President of Pat's Granola, a Cleveland based food and lifestyle company. Pat's Granola is sold online at www.patsgranola.com and is also available at selected Northeast Ohio businesses including:
Troubadour Coffee Roasters www.troubadourcoffeeroasters.com
Sports and Spine Physical Therapy www.sportspine.com
Locle Box www.loclebox.com
Made Cleveland www.madecleveland.com
Nature's Oasis Lakewood www.naturesoasis.com
Happy Cows Group Share Happy Cows Group Share
Sweet Bean Candies Sweet Bean Candies
The Corner at The Van Aken District The Corner at The Van Aken District (December 2021)
Pat's October 29 appearance on New Day Cleveland
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