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Small Business Spotlight: The Perfect Granola

February 06, 2019 06:37 PM

VICTOR, N.Y. (WHEC) -- There are some companies that do things for all the right reasons.

And that is certainly the case for The Perfect Granola, a Victor-based business that has made it its mission to share its profits and its products with those in need.

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Its founder is discovering it's a recipe for success. 

It started as an idea to help feed the hungry.

Michele Liddle wanted to create a product she could sell to stores and give to food pantries where she volunteered.

"One night after volunteering, I went home and I told my husband, 'I'm going to start a food company and I'm going to give everything away,'" said Liddle. "I'm going to start stocking the food pantry shelves and sharing our food and profits with organizations that really need it."

So she went to work in her kitchen, testing recipes with her husband and two daughters.

What she created was The Perfect Granola. It has less sugar, no chemicals or preservatives and is gluten-free. The granola comes in bags or bars in three different varieties.

"So we developed all the recipes together as a family, and I knew if my kids liked it, then it was probably pretty good for everybody. So they helped me develop everything," Liddle said.

Within two years, The Perfect Granola was being carried by stores throughout the Northeast: first at Wegmans, then Tops, Price Chopper and Shop Rite to name a few.

The growth allowed Liddle to continue her mission of helping others -- by sharing profits with homeless shelters, food banks and outreach centers. She also hired at-risk students to go out to different locations to do their sampling events. 

"We've grown, year over year, about 100 percent over the past two years," said Liddle. "This year we're actually forecasting to grow about 200 percent." 

And that's because Liddle recently convinced the largest retailer in America -- Walmart -- to carry her products. They hit store shelves this past Saturday. 

"This is a big deal. It really is. We are now offered in 48 states. We're in half the Walmarts nationwide," she added.

The Perfect Granola is produced by a co-packer in Connecticut. Liddle has distribution warehouses in Chicago and here in Victor. And her competitors have taken notice.

News10NBC's Brett Davidsen: "Do you find that they are tailoring their products to try and mimic what you're doing?"

Michele Liddle: "I have found that actually. One of our competitors came out with a granola that's very similar to what we have on the market and that's kind of exciting to me because it means I'm actually a player in this category and people are now looking at my company."   

Liddle isn't content to stop there.

She's developing new varieties and new product lines. And she plans to use a state economic development grant to build a manufacturing plant in Henrietta later this year.

Davidsen: "Can you say how much you project you'll do in sales this year?"

Liddle: "We're now going to be a multi-million dollar company, which is unbelievable. I can't even believe that I say that. To know that I started in my home kitchen and we launched 2 1/2 years ago... it's just mind-blowing."

The quick success hasn't changed the company's mission. Recently, Liddle partnered with the Special Olympics of New York.

"At the end of the day, it's good business. If we can build a profitable national brand doing it this way, why not."

If you know of a business you'd like us to spotlight, send us an email at spotlight@whec.com.

Credits

Brett Davidsen

Copyright 2019 - WHEC-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company

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