Crunchy Goodness

Ever since its heavenly start a decade ago, Westminster's Olde Man Granola has been a close-knit family business.

Photo by Cassandra Stiltner

How did the company begin?
“Years ago, my husband, Mark, and I lived in Africa, where he did leadership training in a church,” says Fay Plaza, the company’s director of operations. “We had to make everything we ate, including granola. When we got back to the States, I’d make it for special occasions. Our kids and other family members loved it. One Christmas, when Mark was the pastor up in Cold Creek Canyon, we had a little holiday market, and I made granola to sell. For the label, we took a picture of Mark, added a Jerry Garcia beard, and called it Olde Man Granola. We started getting calls from around the country wanting more and decided to start our own business. We sold to family and friends, and at local markets, until five years ago, when our son Trevor came home from the Marine Corps and joined the business. He and I went door to door trying to get coffee shops and stores to sell it.”

What products do you sell?
Six regular granolas—original nut, blueberry almond, cranberry pecan, chocolate nut, apple walnut, and raisin almond—as well as three seasonal granolas: pumpkin spice (fall), cherry chocolate almond (winter holidays), and pineapple peach crisp (spring).

What is your process for inventing your products?
“I do the recipe development,” says Plaza, along with the kitchen management and accounting. “The ideas are mostly based on me thinking, ‘Oh we should make something with…’ ”

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What makes the granola taste so good?
The simple ingredients—“all things you can find in your pantry,” says Plaza—and the fact that they use butter, not oil, in the granola. “Butter is our defining ingredient,” she adds, “and studies have shown that the butter helps you absorb the nutrients in the oats.”

What’s your most popular product?
Original nut.

Small-batch granola maker
9084 Marshall Ct., Westminster