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Red Barn Granola

Cottage Food Business

Red Barn Granola, is my “light and lacey” artisan granola, made in small batches, from Sun Valley, Idaho. There is an iconic red barn in Sun Valley that inspired the name of my product.

I ate loads of granola growing-up on a farm outside Seattle, Washington. Fast forward 40 years, I moved to beautiful Sun Valley, Idaho, raised kids, got one off to college, then started my business.

I have always been a “do-it-yourselfer”, so starting a boutique food business, without any experience, came naturally. I spent a year researching all that it takes to start a cottage food business. In addition, I attended a class offered by University of Idaho titled “Developing You Food Product Idea: Getting Started in a Food Business”. I counted 18 different granola brands at my local market and wondered if I was crazy to add another granola to the shelf. Believe me, I wasn’t crazy. Read-on to see why.

In October 2019 I sold directly to my friends, November of 2019 I launched my product at Atkinsons’ Market in Ketchum (Sun Valley’s sister town), and in December I was offered a coveted booth at Sun Valley Resorts’ Winter Outdoor Holiday Market. BAM and WOW! Red Barn Granola was launched and at full speed.

I started with two flavors, Ginger-Almond-Coconut and Cranberry-Orange-Chocolate-Pecan. Later, I added Apple Crisp. My sales the first year totaled $41,000. I now sell Red Barn Granola retail, wholesale (bagged and bulk) and on-line. I am a one-woman-show. I make every morsel myself in a rented commercial kitchen; I package my granola at home.

I do no marketing…word of mouth is my friend. It turns out that having a delicious, local, well packaged/designed product, launched in a small affluent resort town, can lead to early success with many loyal and “addicted” customers. My loyal customers span across the country. Often, tourists discover Red Barn Granola while visiting Sun Valley Idaho, then order on-line once they return home.

My second child is off to college, Fall 2021. My husband and I will then be  empty-nesters. This is when I will decide if I expand my business or keep Red Barn Granola small, local and manageable.