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2012's Entrepreneurial Up and Comer: Crunch Granola

by Lisa Diggs

Last year, Buy Michigan Now hosted our first Up and Coming Entrepreneur Contest to help a worthy new business get exposure and marketing support. The Grand Prize Winner was Crunch Granola of Walled Lake. So many of our fans voted for Crunch Granola to get the opportunity that we thought it was time to update you on the impact the contest had, and their progress as a growing Michigan brand. We recently caught up with the company’s owner, Christine Stamper, and asked her about the experience.

“Being the winner of the first Up & Coming Entrepreneur Contest was a great experience for us,” said Stamper. “We had just launched our company the January before. Buy Michigan Now was the first festival we took part in. Winning the contest was great exposure for us. It also gave us the opportunity to meet so many other great Michigan vendors.”

As winners of the competition, Crunch Granola was given a free booth space at the Buy Michigan Now Festival, highlighted on the festival website, given a free Premiere membership in the Buy Michigan Now campaign, promoted in a press release, and included in print and television reports.

One of the aspects of the company that most resonated with the public is Crunch Granola’s commitment to serving the community. Since its inception, the company has donated, on behalf of its customers, two meals for every 12oz bag of granola sold. So far that amounts to over 26,000 meals!

According to Stamper, “The mission of our company is not just to make an incredible granola.  The mission of our company is to make a difference in our community.  We donate 50% of our profit to local food banks to help fight childhood hunger. Here in metro Detroit that donation is made to Forgotten Harvest.”

In addition to serving the community, Crunch Granola is now available in a broader range of stores and has added new products. 

“We have really come a long way since we entered your contest last year. Since then, in addition to our original variety, we've introduced two new flavors of our granola - Marathon Crunch Granola (high protein peanut butter granola) and Peanut Butter and Dark Chocolate.  We source local ingredients whenever possible and even make our own peanut butter.  All of our granola is made with the best all natural, gluten-free ingredients,” added Stamper.

Who will be the next winner of Buy Michigan Now’s Up and Coming Entrepreneur Contest? If you own a Michigan-based business that is less than two years old, it could be you. You have until May 25, 2013 to enter. Three finalists will then be announced and the public will select the winner by voting on Facebook. Visit our Facebook page for details and to learn how to enter.

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