Nuts About Granola

Nuts About Granola, a food manufacturing company specializing in freshly made granola using natural and organic ingredients in York, Pa., was born out of a creative fundraiser driven by former Elizabethtown College student Sarah Lanphier. As captain of the college’s triathlon team, Lanphier needed seed money to compete in events. She also recognized a void when reaching for healthier snack options on the grocery store shelves. Using a granola recipe she had on hand, Lanphier created and sold granola to friends and family to fuel her team’s triathlon participation and provide a healthy snack option.

People loved the product and Lanphier began developing a business plan in conjunction with her business classes at Elizabethtown College. After researching the business concept, writing a business plan, feasibility plan and marketing plan, the company launched in 2008 during Lanphier’s senior year, with the help of Lanphier’s mother, Gayle Lanphier.

Professors at Elizabethtown mentored Lanphier throughout the process of getting her business off of the ground. Born and raised in Pennsylvania, Lanphier also relied on connections with people in the community as she kick started the company.

One of the resources Lanphier utilized was YorKitchen, a shared commercial kitchen incubator. Nuts About Granola stayed there for close to four years, before renovating and opening up a new kitchen.

Pennsylvania’s resources and assets have fostered growth for the company. The commonwealth refers potential vendors and customers to Nuts About Granola, introduced Nuts About Granola to trade shows, such as the Fancy Food Show, Natural Products Expo East and The Restaurants Canada Show, and provides exposure to prospective retailers and clients that the company couldn’t attain without assistance. Lanphier has also worked with World Trade Center of Harrisburg to discuss exporting options.

As a supporter of the “Buy Fresh, Buy Local” campaign, Nuts About Granola products have received the “PA Preferred” seal from the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture. When Lanphier sources materials or services for the business, she strives to use local suppliers, such as Dutch Gold Honey from Lancaster, Pa. The abundance of food processing companies in the southcentral region of the state makes it easy, providing an economic advantage to the business.

“I grew up here, I went to high school here and college here, so when I started the business, this is where my community was. As we continued to grow and learned more about the industry, learned about the resources for manufacturing in general, it made sense to stay,” said Lanphier.

Over the past seven years, the company has seen much success. Most recently, Nuts About Granola debuted an exclusive granola blend in Martha Stewart’s Café in New York City. The first flavor, Apricot and Sesame, is inspired by a classic recipe Martha Stewart published. There are plans to introduce new flavors to the café, and expand to new locations when they open.

In the future, Lanphier hopes to export products internationally while staying true to her roots. From the local resources to rich community available in Pennsylvania, Lanphier doesn’t see herself doing business anywhere else.

“I love doing business in Pennsylvania for many reasons, but the most important one is the people. We have a great pool of hardworking, skilled people that make for great employees and also make for great community members,” said Lanphier. “The saying ‘neighbors helping neighbors’ is not just a phrase in our small town but a way of life.”

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