Editor’s note: This week, we’re featuring makers housed out of Williamsburg’s Brooklyn Foodworks. The incubator recently opened in the Pfizer Building and has a knock-out first class. Be sure to stay tuned as we highlight some the the city’s up-and-coming food and drink makers.
It can be a major challenge to stand out in the crowded small-batch granola field. Bad Seed Chili Granola found a way by making theirs more like a spicy condiment, and it’s catching on (you can win some yourself in this week’s giveaway). With this bottled blend of sweet, spicy and garlicky flavor, you can change up your breakfast, lunch or dinner with a crunchy burst of flavor and heat. We think it could do wonders for our morning yogurt.
We talked to the makers about their present and their hopes for the future:
Edible Brooklyn: What inspired you to start your business?
Bad Seed Chili Granola: There are four partners (Peter, Joe, Matt and Penny), and none of us ever imagined that we would start a business around this weird granola-chili oil combo. What we also have in common is our love of food and travel, and as a result, trying a lot of new things to eat. Chili Granola is a result of this experimentation. Once we started sharing Chili Granola with friends, their eyes would light up with curiosity. It’s this feeling of surprising people who may not even like spicy food with something they’ve never tasted before that makes working on Chili Granola worth it.
EB: Why is Brooklyn still a great place for small business owners?
BSCG: Brooklyn is a great mix of natives and transplants, which brings differing points of view, many jumping-off points for inspiration, and a healthy competitiveness. The energy and hustle provides the perfect climate for starting unique, non-cookie-cutter small businesses. The best part is that Brooklyn takes pride in being hard-working and original. The entrepreneurial spirit here is strong and embraced, and Brooklyn takes care of its own.
EB: Where do you want to see your business in the next three years?
BSCG: Bad Seed Chili Granola is just the beginning for us. Chili Granola is in a category all its own. There really isn’t anything like it on the market, which is our biggest challenge but also the thing that excites us most. We’d like to develop other Chili Granola spice flavor profiles, expand into other product lines that make sense and taste great, and continue to share Chili Granola with people far beyond Brooklyn.
EB: Who are the other local makers you admire?
BSCG: McClure’s Pickles. They’re Brooklyn OG makers, but we remember going to Bushwick Country Club when they were using the basement to store pickles, then selling them at the bar. Such hustle, and inspiring to see them become household names.
Empire Mayonnaise. Sam Mason proves you can be super-talented, a nice guy and a great mentor. When we were first getting started, he took the time to answer a million questions and still gives us some great advice.