Where do I begin? It has been almost 4 months since I last posted. During those 4 months, I started my own business selling Organic 100% Sprouted Granola. I started with bare minimum knowledge, no money but a few credit cards aching to be used, an intense desire to have my own business, and a passion to have a product in the world that would not only taste absolutely amazing, but would also nourish your body with pure ingredients.
It started off well. In October 2014, my business Emma’s Organics became official. I was licensed, certified my grandmas kitchen, and ordered my organic sprouted ingredients.
November 2014, I purchased the packaging, found a printer for my labels we were designing, purchased bowls, pans, and everything I would need to make granola. Overjoyed and on a high, following this new path in life. I couldn’t wait.
December 2014, I started selling the granola at a local cold-pressed juice place in Lake Oswego, Oregon. I first started handwriting every bag. Then designed stickers and stamps to put on the bags. My mom, grandma, cousin and I would spend days sticking these stickers on the bags and stamping each one. I would go to my part time job in the morning, then come home in the afternoon, stamp bags and make granola.
January 2015, I designed my own website which became a subscription service to receive granola monthly. Cool idea, huh? I was excited, happy, and slightly overwhelmed all at the same time. At this point I was excited. Thrilled to where this journey would take me. Excited for the future and dreaming of growing into my own little shop.
My oldest brother has his own subscription box business called Yogi Surprise where you receive healthy products. I was going to put my granola in that box to send it out to over 1,300 people. For the whole month of January, my mom and I were making granola every day. When I got home from work, I would spend the rest of the day in the kitchen making granola. Some days I would be in the kitchen until 10:00pm (I try to have my bedtime at 8:30pm so yes this is late lol). Then I’d collapse into bed and do the same thing all over again. During the day my mom would work on stamping the bags, while I was at my other job. We would package the granola every other day – make granola one day, package it the next. We set up an assembly line – my mom weighing the granola, I would fill the bags, and my cousin would seal them shut. We would spend a few hours just packaging granola. Fun, but tiresome.
February 2015, we delivered all the granola for the Yogi Surprise shipment, that first week. I then went to order more oats for my current subscribers order. This is when everything started going downhill. These aren’t just normal oats, they are sprouted oats and I’ve only found 3 suppliers (all on the east coast). My usual supplier was completely out of stock and they didn’t know when they were getting more (they still don’t have any oats). I panicked and quickly tried to find another supplier. Finally after my mom, sister in law and I searching, we found 1 (on the east coast). I quickly ordered 20lbs. Two weeks later they arrived. Relieved and in a rush to get my orders out, I made two batches that night. The granola started to smell different, I tasted it and it did not taste as delectable as it should. I spread it all out on baking sheets and popped them in the oven. Five minutes later the house started to smell toxic. At first I was the only one who could smell it. I started to get a headache and opened all the windows. I baked all the granola, hoping it was just some freak smell in the oven. At the end, the granola smelled so bad and had a metallic taste to it. The house smelled like a chemical factory and I had to step outside every second to breathe fresh air. I threw it all out the next day.
Sad and feeling a little defeated, I thought for sure it was the new oats I purchased. I quickly found another supplier and a week later, I tried again. Once again the smell and taste was back! At this point I NEEDED to figure out what was causing the toxic smell/taste. I tested every ingredient individually, mixed them together with other ingredients to see if they some how reacted to something. Everything seemed fine. I tried new pans, bowls, baking sheets. Nothing. I took out the coconut and coconut oil, hearing that coconut can sometimes cause weird tastes. Same, toxic, unpleasant smell/taste.
At that point I had thrown out over 10 batches of granola. Thrown out all my money. Defeated. At a loss and with no other options. I was late on all orders, already telling subscribers their order would be late. And now I had to tell them it will never come. I put everything I could into my granola business. I tried everything to fix it. Tried to make it work. Sometimes things aren’t meant to be. I’m still baffled and slightly frustrated as to what is causing the granola to smell/taste so awful. I just want to know!
I prayed about my business a few weeks before this happened. Asked and prayed if this is the direction I should go in my life. Asked for some kind of sign. Then this happened. No matter what I tried to do to fix my granola, I kept getting the same result. A sign? I think so.
I canceled all my granola subscriptions. Refunded all my customers, and now I’m working on the last bits I need to finish for my business. In all honesty, I feel a little relieved. I was under intense stress everyday. I cried and broke down a few times. Had a few meltdowns. My mind was always running, never stopping to enjoy the things around me. I was tired, stressed and at times irritated. I learned so much about running a business. What NOT to do and what TO do. It was a great learning experience. Now a few years later, I’m on a new path. Already craving and trusting in my next path in life. I may become a professional organizer (already reading books on making that a business) and of course keep up on my blog more. Who knows. But one thing I do know, is to always have faith and to trust that every works out how it’s suppose to. I know I gave it my all and it wasn’t meant to be, that is all I can do.
Now I’m trusting, having faith, and letting God guide me to my next journey.
A girl who is on a new exciting path,
A few pictures of my website…..