“WHOSE GRANOLA IS THIS?”
Everyone Has A Granola Story. Here’s Ours. A 49 Year History Of 1-800-GRANOLA®
. YESTERDAY • TODAY • TOMORROW Fresh, Healthy & Delicious… Since 1971
1-800-GRANOLA.com is the passion and foresight of company founder and president Saul Wilner, m.g.b. (Master Granola Baker – above center), with daughter and Chief Loving Officer, Leah A. Wilner (above left) and son and Chief Inspiration Officer Isaac S. Wilner (above right).
In 1971 Saul began baking what would soon become his famous granola …
MY GRANOLA IS NUTS!
… in his parent’s kitchen in Bayside, NY. The aroma of freshly baked granola filled the neighborhood. Friends stopped by to assist in the mixing and baking process and were rewarded with the freshest, most flavorful granola. “This is delicious”, they said. “Can I buy some?” And a business took shape.
After taking over the dining room and kitchen with bags of rolled oats, cases of nuts and raisins and bottles of honey (and after a few ‘spills’), Saul’s mother suggested it was time to leave … and find a new production facility.
Saul approached his friend Dominick Ortiz who owned and operated the Quantum Leap Natural Foods Restaurant in Fresh Meadows, NY. A deal was made, the ovens stayed on at night and the delicious aroma of fresh baked granola drifted over more neighborhoods. Dom offered Saul’s granola on his breakfast menu and as a dessert topping on ice cream. Sales and appetites for Saul’s granola began to percolate.
Down the street from The Quantum Leap Restaurant was the Organic Energy Food Co-op … one of the first organic food co-ops in New York City and the first commercial retail account for Saul’s increasingly popular granola. One day while making a granola delivery to the co-op a customer inquired (it really happened just like this), “This is delicious. Whose granola is this?”. Saul responded, “It’s my granola.”. And the rest, as they say, is history! My Granola IS NUTS! is still making history today … 49 years after that first batch in Bayside, NY. But back to 1971.
The Natural Foods wave of the early 1970’s was gathering steam and retail health food stores sprouted throughout the metro New York City area. Perelandra Health Foods (Montague St, Brooklyn, NY), Panacea Health Foods (several stores in Manhattan), Muscle Mite (W 23rd St, NYC), Whole Foods (the original independent health food store on Thompson Street in Greenwich Village – not to be confused with today’s Whole Foods), Sunshine Health Foods (W. Houston St, NYC) and many more retail health food stores from Long Island to New Jersey to Upstate New York now offered My Granola IS NUTS!
Originally available in bulk cases Saul envisioned retail bags of My Granola IS NUTS! with its own unique label. Enter Brian Davis. At the time Brian was a struggling artist with a unique flair for design. Their project together was simple – to create the first My Granola IS NUTS! retail label. As the label read … Munch on, enjoy and be happy! Saul
With a backpack full of newly labeled bags of granola Saul visited the growing number of health food stores, co-ops and gourmet delis spreading the delicious flavor of My Granola IS NUTS!
Production quickly outgrew the Quantum Leap’s ovens and a larger production facility was needed. Saul moved the entire operation to a 9,000 sq. ft. manufacturing plant where the company produced and distributed granola to growing markets locally, regionally and nationwide.
New flavors were introduced, including My Chocolate Nut Crunch Granola, Carob Crunch Granola and My Apple Raisin ‘n Spice Granola (Marsha’s favorite) and new markets were ‘discovered’. In 1975 Saul met Steve Beninati who just opened ‘Everything Yogurt’ … the first store in New York selling soft serve frozen yogurt. Having a flair for marketing they both realized, “Hmmm, granola! Hmmm, frozen yogurt. Hmmm … TOPPING!” Both companies grew as did the friendship and adventures between Saul & Steve. New flavors and variations of sweetened, unsweetened and low fat granola were ordered by gourmet & specialty food stores, restaurants, hotels, Inns & B&B’s and ice cream & frozen yogurt stores. A splendid time was had by all. In 1991, while watching former New York Yankee Phil Rizzuto doing his now famous TV commercial for a mortgage company and it’s revolutionary new ‘vanity’ 800 phone number (remember the Company and it’s unique phone number? … The Money Store … 1-800-LOAN YES), Saul was once again ‘market inspired’ and soon obtained …
… destined to become the #1 Granola Shopping Solution for people throughout the United States, the world and the Universe (OK, the known Universe)! Business was booming for granola.
In 1993, the musician Sting sponsored a benefit concert at New York’s Carnegie Hall to help Save The World’s Rain Forests. At the same time Saul was promoting a Save The Forest Granola and contributing a percent of the proceeds to that same effort. Saul & Steve (Beninati) conceived their wildest promotion to date … “How about we set up a Granola Information Table inside the lobby of Carnegie Hall to promote the health and nutritional benefits of granola and, well, see what happens.” They needed a company ‘spokesperson’ and enrolled the services of …
With the best of intentions (and a little luck), Saul, Steve and Dr. GRANOLA® began their show as the high society of the music world descended upon Carnegie Hall. With humor, determination and a bowl of granola, the three characters promoted the first … Top It Off With Granola World Tour™
… and, once again, a splendid and unforgettable time was had by all.
Over the years … as a cereal, snack, topping (on ice cream and frozen yogurt), granola bar, cookies, confections, ingredient in trail mixes or a natural baking additive … Saul has introduced a wide selection and variety of granola products into new & exciting markets. As a result of its dynamic growth granola has earned its rightful place as a healthy staple in our daily diets.
Once again 1-800-GRANOLA® brings new meaning to the term Freshest, Healthiest & Most Flavorful Granola with the introduction of …
The NEXT Generation of Granola …
A MESSAGE FROM DR. GRANOLA®
“Baking your own granola is So Much Fun! And with our
Simple & Easy
BAKE YOUR OWN GRANOLA MIXES
we offer everyone the opportunity to eat …
The Freshest, Healthiest & Most Flavorful Granola Available Anywhere!
Because It Comes From YOUR Kitchen!
Bake it for yourself and your family or send as a gift to others!
Thank you for stopping by.
We look forward to serving your granola needs.
Your questions and comments are always welcome.
Call or Email me at … email@example.com
Dr. GRANOLA® & the crew at 1-800-GRANOLA.com.
Original My Granola IS NUTS! Poster. Circa 1976
1971 – The first … My Granola IS NUTS! retail label. Notice the initials ‘bd’ in the bottom right corner (Brian Davis).