When the pandemic hit in 2020, I approached each day thinking tomorrow will be different. Well, we are still in “tomorrow” in the fall of 2021. My small business survived and I’m hustling harder than ever. The world is different, though, very different.
Rising ingrédient prices, snarled and complex global supply chain, worker shortages and shipping challenges are now the norm in the food business as well as countless other businesses. Feels akin to sands shifting right under your feet. Along with stress, exhaustion, juggling family and work …folks are just trying to figure things out. Sometimes just one day at a time. There’s been no roadmap to where we’re headed. My internal GPS seems to constantly say “rerouting!”
I’ve adjusted the winds on my sails to address the ever evolving landscape and am acknowledging a few things I’ve learned along this journey.
- Wake up everyday believing life is a gift.
- Change is constant. Accept that.
- Never predict the future. It’ll surprise you.
- People will delight and disappointment you.
- Don’t take things personally.
- Count your blessings.
- Resist comparing yourself to anyone.
- Family and friends are like gold. Precious.
- Express gratitude for the smallest things.
- Failure isn’t bad. Learn from it.
- Pick a lane and detour if you have to.
- Clap even when it’s not your turn.
- Make time to learn something new.
- Smile; it adds to your face value.
- Life is messy.
- Be kind.
Pat’s Granola was born out of my need as a Mom to find a way to feed my family better. This need continues to resonate with others, especially parents who are challenged to answer this age old problem. I’ve heard more than once, that my granola is not only good tasting but is good in so many other ways. The more I’ve shared my story of its creation, the more I realize that the mission of my small business is much bigger than granola. The last year has shown me that it’s no longer about chasing every opportunity that comes along to be considered successful or to be a brand on every grocery store shelf.
What’s enabled me to look strategically and realistically at my business is a village of sponsors and supporters who use their superpowers to advocate and promote me, mentors who continue to guide and encourage me, and friends and family who help keep my chin up. Me and my small business are deeply grateful for the hive minds that have taken me under their wing.
I’ll admit that the past year and a half have challenged me in ways I didn’t expect. The overwhelming loss of human life has affected me deeply and I pray for these souls. I’m more thoughtful, contemplative and deliberate as to what’s most important. I’m also less patient for nonsense because at age 65, time is a valuable commodity. I’ve observed far too many people, when I worked in hospice, that they were waiting to do whatever (spend more time with family, travel or take up a new hobby, for example) when the time was right or they finally had time. Time waits for no one.
As a food business owner, I’m having frequent conversations with people and organizations who are passionate about figuring out how best to feed the bodies and souls of people who seek optimal health and wellness. The time is right to expand what I started as a hyper local regional brand and collaborate to create a space to do this, which is my blog. My love affair with food and the food community continues to blossom. Stay tuned for what’s next on this journey.
A very wise woman who was a single mother of six told me once “paint your small corner of this world a little brighter each and every day. It just might be the light someone else needs to see their way.” Helen Fitzmaurice was right. I’m looking to paint a rainbow.
Pat Bennett is the founder and President of Pat's Granola, a Cleveland 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
Local Flavors Shoppe www.localflavors.net
Locle Box www.loclebox.com
Made Cleveland www.madecleveland.com
Mister Brisket www.misterbrisket.com
Nature's Oasis Lakewood www.naturesoasis.com
Happy Cows Group Share Happy Cows Group Share
The Corner at The Van Aken District The Corner at The Van Aken District
Sweet Bean Candies Sweet Bean Candies
Listen to Pat's story: