FromÂ Namita Koppa. Email her at namita[AT]borderstan.com.
Authorâ€™s Note:Â At Borderstan.com, youâ€™ll always find the latest food & drink news from writers who actually reside and eat in our neighborhood. Thatâ€™s why weâ€™re giving you the opportunity to get to know some of the culinary geniuses behind Borderstanâ€™s food businesses.
Borderstan:Â What is the name of your business and its mission?
Groh: The name of my business is GrohNola, which is a local DC granola company. It all stems from my last name “Groh” (pronounced â€˜grow-nolaâ€™). My main reason for starting this business is to provide people with a healthy yet nutritional snack,Â with only a little bit of sugar. I want people to appreciate quality snacks and put something good in their body.
Granola should be enjoyed by every single person, including children. It has become a huge consumer product within the past couple of years. I would like to make a change with the current granola market and also develop another market who become GrohNola eaters.
Borderstan: Tell us about yourself! How did you conceive of the idea for your business?
Groh: I started in the food business when I was 16 years old. I worked in kitchens during my summer and winter breaks of high school and college. I have always loved food and wanted to be a part of the food industry. I conceived my idea when I got into running and leading a healthier lifestyle about 2.5 years ago.
I joined several run clubs and after the runs, people would go to bakeries for cupcakes and other sweet desserts. I just could not eat those sweet desserts right after my run. I found a random recipe for granola and started making it myself to eat after the runs. The recipe has changed and developed over time, and now has become what I currently serve.
Borderstan: Why granola? Where do you source your ingredients from?
Groh: Granola is something which is filling, yet not heavy. It tastes good in numerous ways (yogurt / frozen yogurt, ice cream, milk, straight out of your hand). I source as many ingredients locally as possible, Right now I source maple syrup and honey locally, and I am working on sourcing more.
Granola is a difficult thing to source locally because it involves nuts and seeds, which mostly come from the Midwest or California. I expect to have more local ingredients within the next month, as I have spoken with some farmers and even a Reverend who is working on teaching children how to grow seeds.
Borderstan: Where’s your favorite place to eat/drink in the neighborhood?
Groh: My favorite places to eat in the neighborhood are Hank’s Oyster Bar and Bar Pilar. I absolutely love seafood and simple food!
Borderstan: What are your impressions of DC’s innovation/start-up scene?
Groh: I love it! Think First Local DC is great, as I participated in their first Start-up market on H Street about three weeks ago. I made a lot of different connections and everyone was so friendly and promoting for each other. Stacey Price did a great job of organizing and managing all the different food vendors.