Hi. We're Jill and David.
We live in a little farmhouse beside Strangford Lough, with our daughter and son. So how on earth did we end up making granola for a living? Good question!
In 2011, we both still had real jobs, and David was working for a yogurt company making natural and Greek-style yogurt and selling it at a farmer’s market.
We would both stand behind a little market stall from 7am every Saturday morning, bringing tasty yogurt to the good people of Belfast.
The problem was that the yogurt was a little bit tart to eat on its own, so we started baking granola in our kitchen at home, and selling it on the market stall along with the yogurt.
Our first break
People liked the yogurt, but they loved our granola, so we started baking it on evenings and weekends so that we had enough to sell at the market.
Howard Hastings, the owner of the Hastings group of hotels, visited the market, and tried some of our granola. He liked it so much that he invited us to meet his head chef for breakfast at their flagship hotel.
By the time we’d finished breakfast, we were the sole supplier of granola to the Hastings hotel chain! We couldn't believe it.
From the kitchen to the shed
We were already baking every night and all weekend long, so our kitchen oven just wasn’t going to work any more. We turned our shed into a small bakery.
People were loving our granola, so it wasn’t long before one of us had the ingenious idea of putting it in boxes and selling it in shops.
We got some packaging printed, and started going to food trade shows, and letting people taste our granola.
From the shed to Hong Kong
Just a few months later, we started to pick up our first retail customers and David had to leave his job to be able to keep up with all of the granola baking. A few months after that, Jill had to leave her job to keep up with the new orders.
Our granola is now stocked at Ocado, Waitrose, Tesco NI, and Spar NI. It's even stocked by some specialist shops in Dubai and Hong Kong.
Our not-very-well-kept secret? It's all still baked by David in the converted shed beside our house.