Everyone has a granola habit. Some of us like ours on the nuttier side, soaked in almond milk. Others find that it’s not real granola unless it has bits of chocolate in it. And then there are the purists who like it sprinkled over their morning bowl of yogurt. Whatever category you fall into, you can bet Lucy’s Granola has you covered.
Before Lucy Benjamin started her successful business, Lucy’s Granola, from her kitchen in East Blue Hill, she was working as a surveyor in her native England. She and her husband decided to “come to Maine to save a cottage” and raise a family.
Like many busy moms, a local monthly bake sale completely slipped her mind one fateful day. Since she didn’t have time to whip up a cake, she parceled out her latest batch of granola into jars and sold that instead. The granola was so well received, Benjamin knew she was onto something.
As her granola, which is made from local ingredients as much as possible, continued to sell at local farmers markets, Benjamin started knocking on shop doors. Early on, she secured a spot at Harvest on the Harbor, the annual food and spirits festival in Portland, and had a table next to another female foodie entrepreneur, Abby Freethy of Northwoods Gourmet Girl.
“It was by pure luck that I happened to end up next to her,” says Benjamin. “She told me about the New England Trade Product Show and really helped me along the way, since she was already established when we met.”
The two continue to go on sales trips together, and Benjamin credits their friend- ship with helping her move her business in the right direction early on.
Today, Benjamin and her “granola elves” are churning out trail mixes and bars for over 150 stores nationally, as well as for her online store. They recently pulled in help from “every teenager around” to put together 4,000 mini-granola bags for California-based company Snack Nation.
“The great thing about running a business in Maine is that people are supportive,” says Benjamin. “It’s easy to get in touch with the right people. It’s a beautiful way of life.”
Lucy’s Granola is available to buy at Stonewall Kitchen, L.L. Bean and at lucysgranola.com.
Laura Serino has been writing for national and regional magazines for the past 10 years and is the co-author of “Twenty- something Girl.” She lives on North Haven island with her husband, dog and two cats.