The History of Quaker Hill Granola:
Quaker Hill Granola has it’s roots in both the White Mountains of New Hampshire and the Green Mountains of Vermont.
In 1984 I was the happy owner of Thimbleberry Bed and Breakfast, located in the White Mountains, just a couple of miles from the base of Mount Washington. I loved everything about the B & B business and fussed over all the details. For years I had been making granola as a Christmas gift for family members so it was natural to include granola as one of the breakfast choices for guests. Sometimes guests asked to buy my granola to take home. I didn’t think much about that until a few years later.
By 1990 I had moved to Vermont and had a newborn baby. I was trying to dream up a way to stay at home and supplement my income. Granola? Maybe I’ll try that. It was purely a whim. There was no business plan.
I took samples of my granola around to some nearby shops and co-ops. I have a clear memory of standing outside one store, exhausted from the effort of getting there with the samples, the paperwork and the crying infant strapped to me in the baby carrier and saying to myself “This is crazy”. But I’ve done other crazy things so I went inside and got my first granola order.
My home was at the foot of Quaker Hill in central Vermont. Like many other Vermont food producers, I started the business in my home kitchen, baking away all morning until I had enough on hand to package up. I quickly outgrew the home kitchen and started lugging 50# bags of oats and dozens of gallons of maple syrup into town so I could bake at a local church with a commercial size kitchen.
I am now many tons of granola further down the road of life. This is still a one woman business. If you call, I’m the person who will answer the phone and pack your order. The son who was born the same year I started Quaker Hill Granola is now attending college but occasionally steps in to help with deliveries when he is at home.
Quaker Hill Granola is just one of the things I do to make a living. Over the years I’ve always held at least two other part time jobs while squeezing in the baking, shipping and deliveries around the fringes of my life. This is pretty common behavior here in Vermont where most people are not actually living the simple life that visitors think we are living. It might not be simple, but for me it’s a very happy life.
Quaker Hill Granola Randolph, Vermont