Whirlybird Granola is an all-natural, non-gmo, gluten-free, vegan granola made by hand in small batches in Cincinnati, Ohio. Each batch is sweetened with an Ohio pure maple syrup and organic agave nectar. Meet Whirlybird Granola at our 2017 Ohio Explored Holiday Maker Mart on December 3rd!
Tell us about your business.
We are Whirlybird Granola, located in Cincinnati, OH. My name is Christy White, and I started this business out of my kitchen in 2011 out of a love of granola and a passion for health. I could not find any granolas that did not have adders, fillers, artificial flavors, or high sugar content. So, I decided to make my own. I tried lots of different combinations, ingredients, and techniques to come up with what we have now. Shortly after creating these recipes, I found out I was pregnant with twin boys, which continue to serve as my inspiration. This is reflected on the front of our packaging. There are two birds that form the shape of a heart. These boys and my daughter are my heart and serve as a daily inspiration to be better everyday.
After having the boys, I left my corporate job to be take care of my kids and pursue a life of granola full time. It has truly been a whirl wind ever since. We have grown from selling at markets to selling at Whole Foods, Kroger, Giant Eagle, Remke, and many other amazing local grocery stores, coffee shops, ice cream/smoothie shops and boutiques. I have gone from making granola in my kitchen to renting space where my family would spend hours after their full time jobs to help me make our granola.
Now we are using a commercial facility with our same small batch process in order to be able to produce more. Whirlybird has always been and continues to be a product from the heart, made with love. We truly hope that everyone is able to taste that in every bite. All of our granola is certified gluten-free, Non-GMO Project Verified, and Vegan. Each batch is sweetened with Ohio Pure Maple Syrup and Organic Agave Nectar. It is made by hand in small batches to ensure that homemade taste that we all know and love.
What drew you to your field?
I love health, nutrition, and of course granola. I have always love finding foods that are good for you and nourish your body. That is why I loved granola, but when I could not find any granola that was really good for you, I knew there was a need that I could fill.
What is your favorite thing you have ever made?
Oh, I love our Original flavor granola. It is the flavor that I started with and full of pistachios, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds and cranberries. It really is the perfect combination. I look to top my sweet potatoes with a little almond butter and Original Flavor granola. It is so yummy!
What did you want to be when you grew up?
I really wanted to be a dietician, but when I was in college I dropped out because chemistry was so difficult. Can you believe that?!? Fortunately, now I feel like I am still able to make an impact on people’s health with my granola.
What is your creative process?
I really love to bake and have always loved that. I also love grocery stores, so I will just walk around the grocery looking for inspiration with flavors, spices, and unique new items. I am usually just buying crazy items at the grocery and bringing them in to the kitchen. Some of them are winners and others aren’t.
What advice would you give yourself 10 years ago?
Oh gosh. I have made a lot of mistakes, but I don’t think I would change anything. Those are what I have learned from the most. But my mom always told me and I would tell myself the same thing: do not to borrow worry. It’s really not worth it. I have spent a lot of time worrying, but all of that worry does not change anything.
Why is it important to support local artists & makers?
There are so many local artists and makers making amazing things and supporting their families doing it. Buyers are truly making a difference when they buy from a local artist/maker. I always say that every bag of granola counts. And I feel truly connected and grateful to those buyers. It is all about the connection for local artists and makers. We want to feel connected to you and vice versa. When you buy from us, you are truly buying a little piece of us.
Why do you love doing what you do?
I love connecting with people with similar passions, interests, and love of delicious and quality food. It’s my favorite part of what I do!
What advice do you have for other women who want to start their own businesses?
Have confidence! You can do it! And don’t be afraid to ask for help. I had/have a very hard time with this. But there are so many wonderful people that have been through it before and would love to help. I have learned so much from so many other amazing men and women. People want to share their experiences and advice, and a lot of it is great advice.
Meet Whirlybird Granola at our Ohio Explored Holiday Maker Mart!