Nana Joes Granola makes Gluten Free Granola, Granola bars, Cookies and Trail Mix. Based out of the Dogpatch neighborhood of San Francisco, they are on a mission to bring back whole food ingredients into packaged foods on the store shelves while supporting our local workforce and our local agriculture!
We got a chance to interview Nana Joes’ Owner, Michelle Pusateri, in February 2018.
How did Nana Joes Granola get started?
Nana Joes Granola was born in 2010. I had just met a boy who is now my husband and I was also learning how to surf. I found myself crashing after eating granola and yogurt for breakfast. So… Being a trained pastry chef, I decided that I would make my own granola free of all the sugar we were buying at the store!
I developed the Sunset Blend Granola and was working as a pastry chef at Nopalito at the time, which was next door to a great legendary grocery store – Falletti’s. I asked them if they would sell our granola and their answer was YES! Within 6 months we were in 16 stores.
Can you share a few facts and numbers?
– For starters, we are woman owned and operated!
– We currently have 9 employees
– Our products can be found 204 locations
– The name Nana Joes comes from my grandmother, who we called Nana, and Joseph, which is the name of both my grandfathers (hence no apostrophe!)
What’s special about Nana Joes Granola?
We are now all organic and all our products are Non-GMO verified, which we worked extremely hard to accomplish. Our products are also refined sugar free, and we source from our local agriculture as much as possible. We are always working on our product integrity.
Every single step of the way when we have wiggle room we upgrade our products and give raises to our employees, lifting up our community one person and one breakfast at a time.
What’s new at Nana Joes?
We just launched our Paleo Granola and it was already picked up by almost all stores we sell too! We showcased it at the Good Food Mercantile in January to a great reception.
What does the future hold?
We are going to be making a few custom blends for a big grocery store chain (name to be revealed when the samples are received and accepted!) We are also working with Traci Des Jardins for a custom Chef’s Blend and we are extremely excited.
For me personally, I want to be a part of policy change on the local, state and federal level. I think there is so much work to be done to protect employees and also to protect small business. We have been here before when big chain stores took over and small business got pushed out because they couldn’t compete, and we have slowly made our way back onto the stage. We aren’t leaving anytime soon if I can help it!
Why manufacture locally?
Because San Francisco saved my life. I found “home” and my heart started to beat again here. By no means is it easy or affordable but with projects like 150 Hooper we can make changes to keep us here in the city. Supporting our community is key to a thriving city. We need to start to focus on the people and not just the profit. Community Before Profit is our motto.
Why did you join SFMade?
I actually joined when you first formed. We have received so much support from SFMade and simply would not be as far along as we are without your help. The staff at SFMade will bend over backwards to help us, get answers and enable us to continue to manufacture within the city limits. The workshops are always informative, and your interactive accelerator program is amazing in connecting us with other manufacturers. Thank you!
~ an interview by Pierre @ SFMade.