Entrepreneur and granola-fan Hedie Howells got the idea of making her own granola whilst away in Brazil.
She told EastLondonlines about her journey. “At home in London, I’ve always made my food from scratch – I like to know where it comes from. With granola, nothing seemed to be freshly made, and I really believe in that aspect of food, where it’s freshly made because it tastes better.
“When I was away in Brazil I always had freshly baked granola, and it was delicious! When I got back to London I couldn’t find anything that came close to that, so I started making my own.
“I started the company about two years ago for lots of different reasons; Brazil planted the seed of my love for granola, and seeing the lack of options in London drove me to start making it myself. I really believed granola should be freshly prepared, and I really wanted to share that.”
Hedie, who now lives and works in East London, left her job in psychology to found H&H in late 2015. She started making her own granola every single day and taking it to her office. Colleagues began saying it was amazing and friends also took notice of how good it was, so they prompted her to start selling it at trader’s markets.
At first, she was reluctant to the idea, she said: “I told them ‘no, no, I don’t really do that…’ but I finally agreed to help out at a friend’s market and it went really well. As I began to realise there was a gap in the market for truly fresh granola, I went part-time with my job and then eventually left to do H&H full-time.”
Hedie has now been joined by her sister Verity, and describes their working together as a beautiful partnership, she said: “Verity and I have very different skill sets enabling us to work fantastically as a really effective team.”
Husk & Honey Granola is baked a few times per week, packed at the bakery and shipped out within a few days, 100% produced in South-East and North-East London. Howells said: “We have various sites where we bake our granola, like the one in Bethnal Green.
“One of the things that sets our granola apart from others is because it’s really freshly baked, which means the taste is very different. It’s miles away from anything you can buy in a shop. Because we don’t use preservatives the taste is very natural, the aroma is delicious, the nutritional profile is excellent, and the flavours of the different grains are highlighted; we use honey, coconut oil, organic oats… just like the freshly baked granola I’d eaten in Brazil.
“The taste is really something you have to experience for yourself. It’s so fresh we don’t have to use lots of preservatives and sugar, it’s not overly sweet. A lot of people think different granola in shops is actually quite healthy. They think because oats and nuts are very healthy core ingredients it will be good for them, but then the fact that there are so many preservatives and additives and so forth turns the core ingredients into something that isn’t necessarily super healthy,” she added.
Hedie graduated from Goldsmiths in New Cross, and says her time there gave her skills that have contributed to her entrepreneurship. She said: “My experience wasn’t just academic, it was inspiring. Being around so many creative people shaped the way I am today.”
Husk & Honey Granola is currently sold in various UK stockists and online, with many more products in the pipeline for summer.