Behind the Brand
gr8nola was founded by Stanford grad and former Olympic Trials swimmer Erica Liu Williams. Erica had been working in the tech industry for about four years when she started feeling the urge to start her own business. She was witnessing many startups around her being acquired and seeing her friends — many of whom were not the “entrepreneurial” type — start companies of their own. At the time, Erica and her husband had a yearly ritual of doing a month-long dietary cleanse together after the Super Bowl, and Erica always made delicious and clean-label granola to snack on during that time. Though she initially didn’t know what type of company she wanted to launch, Erica one day came to the realization that she could turn her granola into a business.
Still working her full-time tech job, Erica started gr8nola as a side hustle and launched her granola at local farmers’ markets. When she sold over 30 bags on her first day and saw customers come back for more, Erica realized that she had something special. Coincidentally, through a friend who worked at Google, Erica was introduced to Google’s food team and landed a spot at the company’s annual Micro Kitchen fair. Google’s employees ultimately voted on gr8nola as one of the snacks they wanted stocked in their offices, and Erica received her first large purchase order for 1,400 pounds of granola. With its products now available at other tech behemoths like Facebook, Microsoft, and Twitter, gr8nola remains one of Silicon Valley’s favorite snack brands, fueling people across the nation with its tasty and functional granolas.