Producer Profile: Singing Bowl Granola

 

10665805_843238552364463_5418040299938340780_n

 

Niagara Grocery is truly a showcase of local entrepreneurs, following their dreams to provide healthy, ethical food 
choices to the Victoria community. One of the most socially conscious and ethically sourced producers that we work with
is Singing Bowl Granola, with its champion founder, Jessica Duncan. I had the wonderful opportunity to speak with Jessica
about the history of Singing Bowl Granola and her business philosophy. Her answers were so beautifully put that I've decided
to show you the script of our interview rather than paraphrase her words:

A: Is ‘fair trade’ and/or ‘organic’ certification important to you when choosing ingredients? Why or why not?
J: Both fair trade & organic are very important to me.  One of the best ways we can make our statement in the world
and create change is through our food habits.  Every time we buy organic, we are encouraging organic farmers to keep
producing chemical-free food.  It is so important to keep your food as clean as possible (i.e. free from chemicals and GMOs).  
We have too much information on the food industry to ignore the horrific conditions in which the multinationals bring 
food to our table.  In my opinion, you can taste the difference in food that was produced by people who are paid fairly
or by people who work as slaves.  Everybody benefits when food is produced ethically.
 
A: What, in a few words, would you describe as your business philosophy?
J. If you’re happy, we’re happy. I love feeding people, whether it’s around my kitchen table or around the region. Sharing 
good food is my way of sharing happiness. I love making and selling Singing Bowl Granola and I love hearing from people who 
get so much enjoyment from eating it. My business philosophy is based on the purveying of happiness (and good health).
 
A: What, in your opinion, are steps that we, as Victorians, could take to ensure local food security??
J: INVEST! Victoria is teaming with small-scale food producers and vendors (like Niagara Grocery) who thrive on the dollars 
of the conscious shopper. It doesn’t need to be huge investments.  Even if you decide to spend $20/week on local products or
in a local shop, DO IT. Even though most of us are running our businesses out of the love of community and creativity, we still 
need money to pay the bills. Every time you support a local producer or vendor, you are doing your part to contribute to local food
security and support the local economy. Consumers are waking up to the added bonus they get from purchasing locally produced food. 
As with fairly traded food, locally produced tastes so much better when you've actually conversed with the producer or provider.
 
A: What inspired you to create Singing Bowl Granola?
J: It’s a bit of a long story. I moved to Victoria in 2010 from Scotland where I’d taught for 13 years while running an organic
farm with my husband. We moved here to help my aging parents, so I needed work that was flexible. My Ontario teaching credential
isn’t recognized in BC, so that wasn’t an option. I was sitting in a local cafe with a friend and noticed the bags of granola for sale.
I blurted out,“I could do that!” having a long history in the health food business. My friend thought she would also like to do it. We 
worked together for about a month before she realized she couldn’t commit, but, by that time, I was on a roll coming up with names and
recipes and a logo. I am known for my tenacity - once I sink my teeth into an idea, I don’t let go. I loved the idea back in 2010 and 
I love the business now.

A: Which product of yours is your personal favourite? Why?
J: This changes all the time. I went through a 6 month period of eating only Mega Medley every day.  It is super healthy, but also so
very tasty. In the summer I like to sprinkle Maple-Pecan Duet over fresh fruit. My latest recipe, Giving Granola, tastes like Pina Colada
and makes me so happy as I am working with the good folk at Level Ground Trading to connect with and support the women in Colombia who 
process the fruit that goes into it. And then there’s the Morning Chorus. Every time I taste it I am blown away at how delicious it is. 
We also make healthy snacks which are very yummy.
The world needs more conscientious innovators like Jessica Duncan. Supporting businesses like Singing Bowl Granola is
the essence of Niagara Grocery's mission for a sustainable, healthy and happy environment. It is people like her that make
it easy to choose local and it's voices like hers that keep hope alive for a more just and sustainable business future. 
 

A: Is ‘fair trade’ and/or ‘organic’ certification important to you when choosing ingredients? Why or why not?

J: Both fair trade & organic are very important to me.  One of the best ways we can make our statement in the world
and create change is through our food habits.  Every time we buy organic, we are encouraging organic farmers to keep
producing chemical-free food.  It is so important to keep your food as clean as possible (i.e. free from chemicals and GMOs).  
We have too much information on the food industry to ignore the horrific conditions in which the multinationals bring 
food to our table.  In my opinion, you can taste the difference in food that was produced by people who are paid fairly
or by people who work as slaves.  Everybody benefits when food is produced ethically.
 


A: What, in a few words, would you describe as your business philosophy?
J. If you’re happy, we’re happy. I love feeding people, whether it’s around my kitchen table or around the region. Sharing 
good food is my way of sharing happiness. I love making and selling Singing Bowl Granola and I love hearing from people who 
get so much enjoyment from eating it. My business philosophy is based on the purveying of happiness (and good health).
 

A: What, in your opinion, are steps that we, as Victorians, could take to ensure local food security??

J: INVEST! Victoria is teaming with small-scale food producers and vendors (like Niagara Grocery) who thrive on the dollars 
of the conscious shopper. It doesn’t need to be huge investments.  Even if you decide to spend $20/week on local products or
in a local shop, DO IT. Even though most of us are running our businesses out of the love of community and creativity, we still 
need money to pay the bills. Every time you support a local producer or vendor, you are doing your part to contribute to local food
security and support the local economy. Consumers are waking up to the added bonus they get from purchasing locally produced food. 
As with fairly traded food, locally produced tastes so much better when you've actually conversed with the producer or provider.
 

A: What inspired you to create Singing Bowl Granola?

J: It’s a bit of a long story. I moved to Victoria in 2010 from Scotland where I’d taught for 13 years while running an organic
farm with my husband. We moved here to help my aging parents, so I needed work that was flexible. My Ontario teaching credential
isn’t recognized in BC, so that wasn’t an option. I was sitting in a local cafe with a friend and noticed the bags of granola for sale.
I blurted out,“I could do that!” having a long history in the health food business. My friend thought she would also like to do it. We 
worked together for about a month before she realized she couldn’t commit, but, by that time, I was on a roll coming up with names and
recipes and a logo. I am known for my tenacity - once I sink my teeth into an idea, I don’t let go. I loved the idea back in 2010 and 
I love the business now.


A: Which product of yours is your personal favourite? Why?

J: This changes all the time. I went through a 6 month period of eating only Mega Medley every day.  It is super healthy, but also so
very tasty. In the summer I like to sprinkle Maple-Pecan Duet over fresh fruit. My latest recipe, Giving Granola, tastes like Pina Colada
and makes me so happy as I am working with the good folk at Level Ground Trading to connect with and support the women in Colombia who 
process the fruit that goes into it. And then there’s the Morning Chorus. Every time I taste it I am blown away at how delicious it is. 
We also make healthy snacks which are very yummy.
The world needs more conscientious innovators like Jessica Duncan. Supporting businesses like Singing Bowl Granola is
the essence of Niagara Grocery's mission for a sustainable, healthy and happy environment. It is people like her that make
it easy to choose local and it's voices like hers that keep hope alive for a more just and sustainable business future. 
 

 

Comments are closed.