How old are your kids and how long have you lived in Westport/the area?
DANA: I have a 15 year old, and 13 year old twins.
JULIE: I have 13 and 11 year old girls and 4 step kids (ranging from 10-19)
We have both been here since 2008
How did you end up where you are now in terms of your job, or whatever passion project it is you might be doing? We actually met in Westport, CT in 2010 at a birthday party our daughters were at. We immediately struck up a conversation about how to get kids to eat, and a friendship was born! Upon meeting, I (Julie) shared my crazy idea with her (Dana) to start a granola company — to make a beautiful, handmade, giftable granola. She was on board and O.A.T.S. Granola was born.
In 2012 we were doing a granola pop-up at a greek yogurt store in NYC and we thought that Westport would LOVE a place to go to get greek yogurt parfaits with our granola on top! We started to discuss this idea with the company we were providing granola for, and they said GO FOR IT. At the same time, our manufacturing numbers on granola were getting much larger and we no longer wanted to rent a kitchen all the time – we wanted our own space. Sooooo we found the location that is now The Granola Bar and got to work turning it into a manufacturing facility in the back and we weren’t sure WHAT to do in the front! We got together in our kitchen and dreamt up a menu of a place where we could eat intuitively – bacon one day and vegan the next – feed all of our kids, husbands, and friends – – and in December, 2013, The Granola Bar was born!
We had ZERO experience in the restaurant business, so we have approached our company as customers. The customer experience is at the forefront of everything we do and how we lead the staff in the business as well. Happy, thoughtful, caring service – with faster and healthier food – makes for The Granola Bar experience!
What was your best memory from 2020, a strange year we know…We have re-emerged as stronger leaders and even more involved in the day-to-day of our restaurants – so I’d say the moment we took even more control was a great memory that we hold on to for inspiration.
What are you most looking forward to in 2021? We hope to see people more – and maybe one day we will stop wearing masks – but until then just seeing people out and about and feeling happy again.
What is the best show you have recently (binge) watched? SHTISEL!!! Both obsessed. Baruch HaShem for that show!!
What’s your favorite app right now- for you- and for your kids? THE GRANOLA BAR APP
What is one food you could not live without? Avocado
What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you: Julie is an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach and Dana got her college degree in Nutrition!
If you weren’t doing what you are today, what do you think your career path might have been?
JULIE: I would definitely be in the music biz!
DANA: I would probably be doing something in finance or real estate
If you had 24 hours to do whatever you wanted to do, what would it be? RELAX and shut off our phones!!
What was your most memorable family vacation and why?
JULIE: A trip to Utah just recently because it was magnificent and everyone got off technology and was outside in a gorgeous setting.
DANA: Our family trip to Hawaii; It was was spectacular and everyone loved the trip
What is the best white lie you have told your kids? I’m busy right now running The Granola Bar empire (when you just need some quiet)
Are you a morning person, or a night owl? How does sleep fit into your life right now? We are both morning people – and both in bed before 10pm
What thing has surprised you most about being in the suburbs? How early everything shuts down.
Who in your life was – or is – the greatest inspiration for what you’re doing today?
JULIE: It’s a tie between by husband, Jay and my daughters
DANA: My children!
QUICK THIS OR THAT:
Cake or Pie? CAKE
At a movie: Candy or Popcorn? POPCORN
Pancakes or Waffles? PANCAKES
Iced Coffee or Hot Coffee? HOT
Beach or Mountains? DANA – Beach | JULIE – Mountain
Puzzle or Board Game? BOARD GAME
Chocolate or vanilla? CHOCOLATE
Reading or writing? DANA – Reading | JULIE – Writing
Ketchup or mustard? MUSTARD
Watch or play sports? WATCH
Winter or summer? JULIE – Winter | DANA – Summer
Comedy or Drama? COMEDY