Sam Groh’s local food business, GrohNola. (Namita Koppa)
From Namita Koppa. Email her at namita[AT]borderstan.com.
Author’s Note: At Borderstan.com, you’ll always find the latest food & drink news from writers who actually reside and eat in our neighborhood. That’s why we’re giving you the opportunity to get to know some of the culinary geniuses behind Borderstan’s food businesses.
Borderstan: 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 ‘grow-nola’). My main reason for starting this business is to provide people with a healthy yet nutritional snack, 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.
Sam Groh of GrohNola. (Namita Koppa)
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.
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