Q & A with Singing Bowl Granola

Where is your business located?

Singing Bowl Granola is based in Victoria on beautiful Vancouver Island.

What are the products that you create/grow?

We make small-batch artisanal granolas in four different flavours.  We offer granola made with organic rolled oats from family farms in Saskatchewan as well as a grain-free granola. What distinguishes our granola from all the others on the shelf is that it’s not too sweet. We use only a small amount of Peace River Honey or pure maple syrup. We also use high quality organic oils. There is nothing artificial in any of our recipes.

How long have you been in business?

I started Singing Bowl Granola at the James Bay Market (Victoria) in May 2011.

Singing Bowl Granola
Singing bowl Jessica Duncan

What was your inspiration for starting your business?

I had just moved to Victoria with my family to look after my father who had Parkinson’s Disease. I had an Ontario teaching credential which was not recognized here in BC. I needed a job that was flexible enough to allow me to care for my kids and my father, so I started making granola to sell at the farmers’ markets.  As a teacher, I bore witness to the affects that heavily sugared breakfast cereals had on kids. I’ve always been passionate about healthy eating, so granola felt like the right move. And it was!

Why is supporting local important to you?

Ten years into running this business and I can honestly say that the biggest gain has been the community built through it.  Without community, life is very precarious.  When we support our local producers, we are supporting our neighbours, our friends, our family. The money we spend locally on independent businesses, is usually kept in the community, building strength and resilience.  Everything is better when you know the person who has produced your purchase.

What makes your product unique?

As well as being handmade with super clean ingredients, always fresh and not too sweet, Singing Bowl Granola is a company that is committed to giving back to our community. We often donate cookies to be distributed to the unhoused members of our community. We regularly deliver large amounts of granola to our local food bank (The Rainbow Kitchen). And, in 2016 I started the SBG Porridge Project where we deliver organic cinnamon-raisin porridge to local schools every month.

I have recently collaborated with another local entrepreneur to create Peanut Butter Crunch Bars and Vegan Caramel Crunchers (you’ve got to try these!). 10% of all of our profits will be going to two different local women’s organizations - The Victoria Women’s Transition House and Bridges for Women.

My motto is, “What fun is success if you can’t share it?”  As long as I can afford to, I will always give back to my community.

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