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Rising Stars: Meet Amanda Zitting, Leona Scifres, Joseph Collum

Today we’d like to introduce you to Amanda Zitting, Leona Scifres, Joseph Collum. Them and their team share their story with us below:

Louise’s Granola all started in our mom’s (Louise) kitchen nearly 30 years ago. Louise now has seven kids – and Louise’s Granola started as a way for her to love on her kiddos. This granola is the best. It’s a classic, “go-to” granola and it became a daily in Louise’s household. Louise would start by mixing the ingredients of her granola up in the largest bowl known to humankind, and spend hours baking and spreading the granola out on every kitchen surface available to dry.

Granola days in Louise’s house and neighborhood were beloved for the sweet and nutty scent and the great snacking. Louise started her granola as a way to feed those in her home, but eventually the granola left the household by way of friends and friends of friends, neighbors, and extended family who all grew to love “Louise’s granola.”

Now, Amanda and Leona (two of those seven children) along with Amanda’s husband Joe (and Louise’s son-in-law) are out to make this granola more accessible to all – because we believe that it is the best daily granola. With Amanda’s background in food and nutrition (she is a registered dietitian), Leona’s communications and marketing/PR degree, and Joe’s engineering mind and skills as ‘master of all things spreadsheet’, the trio make a perfect team for Louise’s Granola food business.

And what better place to start a small business than in Saint Louis? Our city is stock-full of some of the best eats + small local companies providing so many unique and wonderful products and services. We love how STL supports that, and we are thrilled to be a part of it. In early 2020, the idea to make Louise’s Granola Company, LLC came about.

We started our business online because COVID made things a little tricky. Currently, we sell our granola at louisesgranola.com in multiple-sized bags, we ship to 48 states and we do STL local delivery. We are also in a few shops – you can find us at Sister’s Sandwich Shop in South Hampton, as well as in AO&Co in the Shaw neighborhood, and we are communicating with lots of other potential local partners.

For most of the year, you can find us in-person, selling at the Tower Grove Farmer’s Markets (always on Saturday mornings, sometimes at their other markets on Tuesdays and Sundays). We hope to expand to more markets in Spring 2022.

Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
We started our granola business during COVID when it was (even more so than normal) difficult to get ahold of the right government employees and agencies because a lot of offices weren’t functioning normally or at normal capacity.

Let alone figuring out which permits and licenses to obtain – did you know there isn’t a ‘how-to’ guide on this? This is our first business, but we are certain it took a lot more time than normal to get everything we needed just to sell our granola.

Our business opened in January of 2021 – so we are still such a baby business! We know that challenges will come up, but from what we have gone through personally and already in our business, the challenges often help with growth and learning the most.

Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
Amanda: I am a registered dietitian (RD), with a background in all things food and nutrition/dietetics. I currently work part-time as a clinical dietitian at an SSM hospital, where I provide a wide variety of nutrition support, education, and counseling, and part-time as a co-owner of Louise’s Granola! Becoming an RD was a lengthy and dedicated process!

I completed a 4-year undergraduate program, applied and matched to an internship and master’s degree program at Saint Louis University, and then sat for my RD exam to become a registered dietitian. Just obtaining this degree and registration/license has provided me with such a large body of knowledge (that a ‘health coach’ or a ‘nutritionist’ with an online certificate does not have).

From working with food in a kitchen setting to gardening to working in clinical care with critically ill patients to communicating and educating people on nutrition and healthy living, I stand out because of the large amount of research, coursework, and time I have put into becoming a registered dietitian. My background in nutrition and food spurred my interest in pursuing Louise’s Granola Company! I love that I can use what I know about food and ingredients and nutrition to communicate the goodness that is Louise’s Granola.

Leona: Leona received her degree in communications/PR, and she currently works as an executive assistant in addition to Louise’s Granola side hustle. Her degree and coursework background helps Louise’s so much! She gets to use her skills in communications and PR to help Louise’s Granola grow and come up with new ways to work in the community.

She also dabbles in marketing and design – and is currently responsible for most of the content you see for anything Louise’s Granola – such as our bag design work, social media, and advertising. She is so good with people, which helps our business greatly as we seek to connect and grow.

Leona and Amanda are sisters, and because they were two of seven, they learned at young ages how to get things done! (we’re talking, doing our own laundry by age 7, people). Leona and Amanda make a great team when it comes to baking and bagging Louise’s Granola, always working quickly and effectively and coming up with solutions.

Joe: He works full-time as a civil engineer in STL in addition to Louise’s Granola side hustle. If you’ve ever known an engineer-minded person, you know how valuable they are! Joe is business-minded, great at finding deals, and making processes in the kitchen smoother and more sensible.

He is set apart from others for his efficiency and leadership. Not to mention the spreadsheets, ya’ll, he has one for everything.

Can you share something surprising about yourself?
Louise is only in her 50s, and is involved in Louise’s Granola! The company honors her by writing her into the yearly profits.

Pricing:

  • Classic Granola (10 oz bag): $9.99
  • Classic Granola (16 oz bag): $14.99
  • Classic Granola (2.1 oz, 25 count): $49.75

Contact Info:

  • Email: louisesgranola@gmail.com
  • Website: www.louisesgranola.com
  • Instagram: @louisesgranola
  • Facebook: Louise’s Granola

Image Credits
Tyler Scifres

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