Where Are They Now: Sarah Davies, Founder of More Granola
The Venturepark Labs accelerator program welcomes a new cohort of entrepreneurs every six months. We are proud to have countless successful alumni who have spread their wings and seen outstanding growth following the completion of the program, but their journey doesn't stop there. This month we are checking in with Sarah Davies, founder of More Granola (@moregranola_), a member of our most recent cohort 11, to hear about her experience in the accelerator, how her business has grown so far, and what's next for the More Granola team.
Venturepark Labs: Tell us a bit about your product/brand.
Sarah Davies: More Granola is a hot off the press brand turning crave-worthy treats into snackable granola chunks. Plant-based, gluten-free, and made with real food ingredients, all of the More Granola flavours are dessert-inspired and made with a just a handful of nutritious ingredients you can feel great eating everyday.
The idea was born out of my own experience: I love snacking on chunks of granola, but found there were always so few in the cereal box. Our oversized chunks are unique because they are a cross between granola cereal and bars. The big cookie-like pieces give consumers the choice to eat straight out of the bag or break them up into their bowl. It is truly a customizable treat! Our goal is to bring a sense of play into healthy eating, and by extension, help change people’s relationship with healthy food.
VP: Describe your entrepreneurial journey.
SD: My entrepreneurial journey started off with a BANG. I was living in Spain completing my MBA when the pandemic began. I flew home in March 2020 and knew I needed to throw myself into something productive to stay positive. I also knew that a lot of people were feeling pretty scared during that time, and I wanted to find a way to spark a bit of joy. Something that never fails to bring happiness into my days is delicious food, and so I decided to launch the food brand of my dreams: More Granola.
I started Beta testing my idea in August 2020, and used the customer feedback I received to create the product that is More Granola today. I launched officially in January 2021 and since then have experienced some great momentum and learned a ton! Being an entrepreneur, to me, means constantly learning, growing and adapting. No two days or weeks are the same, and you’re constantly having to tackle a new set of challenges at each stage of the business’s growth. It is never boring and never easy, but I was up for the challenge wouldn’t want to be doing anything else with my days.
VP: How did you hear about Venturepark Labs and what made you want to join?
SD: I first heard of Venturepark through following Arlene Dickinson. Applying to the program was one of the first things I did in preparing to launch More Granola. I used to work in Wealth Management, and really had zero experience in the food industry. Venturepark Labs helped give me a holistic picture of what creating a food brand entailed and the different components I would need to manage to scale my idea. Meeting with, and being able to grow alongside a group of other inspiring entrepreneurs was an unexpected highlight of my journey!
VP: What growth has your product experienced post-program?
SD: More Granola hit a few important milestones just as our cohort (11) was ending. We started production with a co-packer and partnered with two new distributors in Ontario and BC, plus launched a new flavour to our lineup (hello Salted Caramel!). We’ve seen some incredible growth since graduating from the program: our monthly revenue has tripled and our store count has grown by 50%. Recently, we've launched in 10 Sobeys Inc. locations (visit moregranola.com for the full list of locations!). The mentorship, guidance, and connections I gained through the program really helped set me up for success during this next phase of our growth, and I’m truly not sure how I would have navigated it all without the Venturepark Labs experience!
VP: What’s next for More Granola?
SD: We have a lot of exciting things coming up in the next few years as we work to become a national brand. We’re launching in a ton of new stores over the next few months, and continuing our geographic expansion across Canada. We have some new flavours launching soon, and some fun events planned for the new year! There is always something new cooking up over here at MORE HQ so stay tuned by following along via our newsletter or on Instagram!
VP: As alum of the Venturepark Labs accelerator program, what piece of advice would you give to someone who is new to entrepreneurship?
SD: Whenever you embark on something new, especially something entrepreneurial, it’s really hard to know what to expect. I had no clue what I was getting myself into when I started out! One thing I wish I’d heard from someone is that it is ok to make changes along the way. By no means are you going to have it all figured out on day one. I expected to pivot once or twice during my beta phase, but what I didn’t expect is all of the micro-pivots that I would continue to do after my ‘official’ launch. At first, I was really scared to make any changes post-launch, but what I learned is those tweaks are 100% necessary. They enable you to adapt to market feedback and continue refining your idea in order to really carve out your market niche. Building a brand, like entrepreneurship in general, is a journey and there are plenty of swerves, hills and full-on U-turns along the way!