How Runner’s Granola Started
In the fall of 2007, my cousin, Alison, was training for a marathon and I joined her on long runs. It can get pretty lonely and boring if you're running 20 miles by yourself. We talked about a lot of things including how running helps us eat healthier. I told her it would be neat to come up with the next energy bar. I said, "You know someone will." Then it hit me. That person could be me.
While in culinary school and learning about baking and pastry, I tweaked recipes to make them healthier--which my family tolerated. They finally told me to “stop putting whole wheat and flax seed in our chocolate chip cookies!” Anyway, I kept experimenting and a year later came up with something wholesome, yummy and with runners in mind. But, it wasn't an energy bar. It was a hearty, dense, roasted, and not-too-sweet granola with approximately a 4:1 carb to protein ratio (which helps aid post-run recovery). After lots of taste-testing (which included my cookie-loving family!), I landed on the right flavor and texture.
I can’t say what triggered the idea to package the granola in bottles. But, once I did, I realized it played to the idea of celebrating goals and achievement. People loved the bottle idea and the unique taste of the granola… and so did many Omaha retailers where the granola is sold.
Many of my bottles are donated by Omaha coffee shops and locally-owned Omaha restaurants—which is great because recycling is one way to be environmentally-aware. The 750ml bottles are the signature packaging, but the granola is also sold in bags.
So, all this led me to start a healthy baking company called Runner's Granola, Inc. in early 2009. At its essence, Runner's Granola, Inc. celebrates runners and their running and health goals. It celebrates the espirt de corps that runners share—there's a running community in just about every city and town across the U.S. (the world!!). Runner's Granola, Inc. is grassroots-based, just like a running community. I make the granola by hand and package it by hand. This hands-on effort is a salute to goals…and to never quit striving to do your best. To every runner I say, "Cheers! Here's to good running."
Lisa Dempsey, Runner’s Granola, Inc, Omaha, NE s
P.S. –A Little About Me and Running…
I love running and have been doing it for over 25 years. I like to compete in the half marathon most of all and the training keeps me focused, dedicated, and committed to my goals. One of the things I really like about running is talking to other runners about their running goals. Maybe it's to run a couple of blocks or maybe it's to run a marathon--it doesn't matter. You're out there and I'm on your side.