I started my first food business, Grain Expectations, in the summer of 2011. Things really got going when I began selling at Seattle Farmers Markets in 2012. Selling at the markets has been the perfect opportunity to interact with customers and introduce my products. I have learned a ton, gotten some great feedback, and absolutely love trading leftovers for amazing produce at the end of the day 🙂
Everybody knows that starting a business is not easy, and I can certainly say I’ve been working my tush off trying to get mine off the ground. One thing that’s been important to me from the beginning is feeling confident and believing in my products. When I first started the Grain Expectations blog, my goal was to try my hand at baking with whole grains. Because I have type 1 diabetes, whole grains have always been recommended as an important part of my diet. Naturally, when I opened my business, I focused on whole grain baked goods.
In the last couple of months, a combination of events, research, and conversations in my life has made me realize that in order to really take care of myself, I can’t eat too many whole grain baked goods. This may seem obvious, but I had always been proud of the fact that despite having type 1 diabetes, I could pretty much eat whatever I wanted as long as I took the correct amount of insulin. I have always done a good job managing my diabetes, but I knew I could do better.
A major turning point in this realization was providing baked goods for the American Diabetes Association’s Tour de Cure. I was very excited to donate to the event and have the opportunity to spread the word about my business to my target market. The lovely folks over at the ADA asked me to provide muffins as part of the day’s breakfast.
The event was a huge success for the local ADA chapter, and a really enjoyable day. I had many fantastic conversations with others whose lives have been affected by diabetes. However, it felt awkward recommending my muffins to them. Although they are MUCH better than most muffins, these muffins still contain sugar (albeit much less than most) and grains. Those of us with diabetes can definitely eat sugar, but we have to be careful and react accordingly. I ended up recommending they check out my other, lower-carbohydrate products.
After that day, I decided that I wanted to feel absolutely confident that all of my products would be a healthy choice for all of my customers. Therefore, I’ve begun a transition away from whole grain baked goods to baked goods and snacks that are truly low-carb and as always, 100% whole grain (or grain-free) and all-natural.
I’m really excited about my new products and have already gotten some great feedback. I’m excited about this fork in the road, and hope you’ll stick with me along the way!