Behind The Scenes at Hippie Chick May 26 2014, 1 Comment

I have always been curious about where my food comes from, where it’s grown, how it’s grown, how it’s packaged and distributed to stores.   To a certain extent, the “where it comes from” often feels like a mystery, as if there is a screen dividing the customer from the kitchen or the processing plant, obscuring the view. 

I never want your view to be obscured.  If you’re a customer who lives locally and visits my storefront, you are welcome to peek into the Hippie Chick kitchen that stands directly behind my storefront any time.  If I don’t offer, please feel free to ask!  I want you to know where your granola comes from.  For those of you who aren’t local, I thought you’d enjoy a look at what happens behind the scenes here at Hippie Chick Granola Co.

Let’s get to first things first. 

That do-rag?  No!  It’s not a fashion statement!  It’s my work uniform.   

My head is almost always covered when I’m at HCGC to restrain my hair.  The only days you’ll find my hair down are the days that I’m not cooking or working with open packages of food. 

My children aren’t crazy about this look, especially when I forget to take off the do-rag before going to one of their soccer games or making a run into Food Lion.

Yet we wouldn't be parents if we didn't embarrass our children at least a little bit, right? 

But I digress...

 

These tubs against the wall contain ingredients.  From Bob’s Red Mill rice flours, to coconut, to Suzann’s Organic Maple Rice syrup and dehydrated cane juice, all of the ingredients that do not require refrigeration, are stored in air tight containers and depending on their size, sit on wire racks, or immediately next to the wire racks for easy access while I’m baking.

These are 50-pound barrels of rolled oats, which I keep directly beside my prep table.

This is my prep table, where all ingredients are mixed before they are spread over individual sheet pans for baking.  Why all the bowls?  I mix the ingredients for each pan individually to ensure the right consistency in each batch.

This is my convection oven, where your granola bakes, and next to it, the cooling rack where granola cools after its bake time.

After the granola cools, it goes to a second prep table to be weighed, bagged and heat sealed (Hi Tamara!).  

Then, the granola either goes onto the retail shelf for sale, or it is boxed and taken to the post office for web orders that need to be fulfilled.

I keep very little granola in inventory.

This is about it, right here!

 The reason is simply that I want you to take home the freshest granola possible.  Even though the shelf life is at least a month old, I don’t want you to purchase granola that is over a few days old at the most.  

I want you to love your granola, and I want it to be the same great tasting, perfectly baked granola, in every bag, every time.

Enjoy, y'all, and if you're on Oak Island, I will gladly give you the real tour versus the virtual one.  Thanks for stopping by! 

xo