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We Didn’t Think M’sians Wanted Customisable Granola, But She’s Making RM15k/Month From It

Author’s Blurb: I tried granola from 3 different brands for a week a few years back, but could never get into them because I thought they were all too sweet for my liking. While I understand its nutritional value, a part of me also wondered how this extremely sweet cereal was considered healthy.

Unlike me, Vivienne Len and her partner, Jiunn Hung did not give up on granola that easily, and instead wanted to challenge its stigma for being heavily packed with sugar. 

The pair started off by selling granola to their friends and family for fun. Slowly, they got more orders from them and also countless requests for customisation.

Many of their customers wanted a swap or removal of certain ingredients due to dietary requirements and personal preferences, which sparked the idea of creating a customisable granola business, Granos.

Their early customers also gave feedback on wanting granola less packed with sugar, which Vivienne and Jiunn Hung had already planned to incorporate.

Vivienne and Jiunn Hung at a monthly event called After7 by DUMC church / Image Credit: Granos

“The granolas you find in the market are conventionally made by coating the entire mixture of dry ingredients like rolled oats, nuts, and seeds in the form of a sweetener, and baking them in the oven.”

“For our granola, we only lightly sweeten our rolled oats to provide flavour, while the rest of the ingredients are dry roasted with no added sugar, oil, or salt,” Vivienne shared with Vulcan Post. 

They found that doing this also helped enhance the flavour profile of each ingredient in the granola.

What Can You Get?

Vivienne and Jiunn Hung bake these ingredients from home. Vivienne manages Granos full-time whereas Jiunn Hung still has a corporate 9-5.

Jiunn Hung helping out where and when he can / Image Credit: Granos

They currently operate fully as an online store and have not sold at any big bazaars yet, since they started the business when COVID-19 just broke out.

As of now, customers can choose to customise from 12 ingredients with 1 base flavour (honey and cinnamon), or opt for The Classic, a pre-mixed combo.

These ingredients include nuts, seeds, dried fruit, and toppings like cornflakes. To customise an order, customers just need to fill in this Google Form.

Those who are allergic to nuts can opt for nut-free granola, but they do not make nut-free granola in a separate place, Vivienne cautioned, which may still trigger the allergy for more sensitive consumers.

On festive occasions, they offer limited-time seasonal granolas such as their Coconut Gula Melaka Granola and Maple Pecan Granola.

Both The Classic and customisable granola are priced at RM19.90 at a 250g nett weight. They also provide trail mix at RM14.90 at a 125g nett weight. 

Their trail mix (left) and seasonal Maple Pecan Granola (right) / Image Credit: Granos

Delivery to any location will be RM7.50, but you’ll be eligible for a free delivery if your orders are above RM60.

In case you’re wondering how their prices compare to other local granola brands, their pricing has a small RM1-2 difference for a 250g amount. What sets Granos apart from other local granola brands is their customisation. 

Scouted By Big Industry Names

Since they started in September 2019, Granos has already catered to big names like Shopee, PwC, DHL, and Tiffany & Co., the latter of which was their first notable customer. 

“The director was a fan of our granolas and asked if we would like to work with them on their annual Christmas dinner back in 2019,” Vivienne shared. 

“We held an interactive “build-your-own-granola-jar” station where their clients could customise their own granolas on the spot. We also printed out different variations of Christmas tags for them to choose from as we wanted to make the experience as personal as possible.”

Their first corporate event with Tiffany & Co. / Image Credit: Granos

Since then, they’ve been approached by more big names to curate personalised granola gifts for their employees and clients. 

Vivienne also shared that these days, companies are receiving increasing demands from their employees for healthier food options, which is why the bulk of their clients are B2B. 

However, they definitely want to expand in the B2C market, seeing as they have noted a strong retention rate there.

On average, Vivienne earns about RM15,000 in revenue per month, and sometimes more during festive seasons.

Editor’s Update: Information in the above paragraph has been updated to reflect greater accuracy.

Catering to weddings as well / Image Credit: Granos

Corporate Challenges

Since catering to corporate clients is one of their biggest income streams, Vivienne does get overwhelmed on a day where she has to handle an order of 150 personalised care packages, for example.

Thankfully, she has help from part-timers sometimes. But as the oven she’s using can produce about 20 packets/hour, this means that on some days Vivienne has to spend around 7-8 hours baking. 

Another Tiffany & Co. event for Raya and a corporate gift box / Image Credit: Granos

As they foresee more of these requests coming in, Vivienne plans to move out sometime soon and rent a bigger kitchen space.

“Our goal is to eventually launch an interactive concept store where customers are able to try out different ingredients and even customise their own granola on the spot,” Vivienne shared with Vulcan Post.

However, an immediate goal they have for 2021 is to reduce their business’ carbon footprint and change the way people view waste and disposable packaging, the logistics of which are still under wraps for now.

Bottom Line: As a picky eater and someone who prefers less sugar in her food, what Granos offers does sound tempting enough for me to give granola another chance. Maybe I’ll then easily acknowledge the healthy aspect of this food.

  • You can learn more about Granos here.
  • You can read other startups we’ve written about here.

Featured Image Credit: Vivienne Len, founder of Granos

Categories: Entrepreneur, Malaysian, F&B

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