Michele Liddle is an award-winning sales person and the 2017 Women of Excellence Award Recipient for the creation of The Perfect Granola and its positive social impact. She is also the 2018 Women Business Owner of the Year, a wife, and mother of 2 young girls. She believes that anyone has the ability to change the world if you dream big and work hard.
I started this company after volunteering at my local food pantry. I noticed there was a lack of healthy, allergy friendly foods on the shelves, so I decided to do something about it; I started a food company where I could share food and profits with those in need and then hire the very people that needed jobs.The Perfect Granola shares 5% of profits with homeless shelters, outreach centers, and Food Banks, but what is really unique is that we treat the problem, not just the symptoms of poverty.
In Upstate New York almost ½ of our children are living below the poverty line and only just over ½ are graduating high school, this means that the future looks bleak for some. Homelessness and childhood hunger are on the rise throughout our Nation, so we decided to get creative. We started a student program in 2018 where we hire students and give them their first jobs, we pay above minimum wage, we allow them to build their own schedules around school work and athletics, and we offer mentorship so they can learn the skills needed to professionally enter the workforce after high school and break the poverty cycle that fuels hunger.
How their profits are helping the hungry
We launched the company in 2016 and quickly grew into a National brand gaining accounts with Wegmans, Walmart, ShopRite and many others. This growth has enabled us to donate tons of granola and granola bars to those who are hungry and help so many people through amazing organizations.
Not only is our company mission driven, but we have award-winning products. It was important to me that the quality and taste of our products were second to none. We proudly won the 2018 National Parenting Product Award for Best in Family Products as well as were featured as an editor’s top pick in LA Parent Magazine. Because of our growth and success, we were also interviewed on the floor of the NYSE by Cheddar and won the 2018 Women-Owned Business of the Year for our positive social impact.
On the future of the company
One thing most do not know is that the first 2.5 years I worked on this company myself and relied heavily on mentors and advisors as we grew into new markets and navigated the food industry. As I look to add more people on our team, we must be creative as we are still a start up and growth must be carefully calculated.
As a mother of two young girls, I am proud to show them that anything is possible through hard work and perseverance. By staying consistent and sticking to my vision and values, we are able to change the lives of so many and create a better world through food and love.