Sarah Lanphier views her business from the perspective of an athlete.
Growing up, she competed in swimming. When she enrolled in Elizabethtown College, she joined a triathlon team.
"It taught me how to deal with setbacks and failures," she said of her athletic training. "That's just part of the process."
In 2008, while still a student, Lanphier started Nuts About Granola with her mother, Gayle. The business grew out of a fundraiser Lanphier held for her team. She made and sold granola, and every time, her product sold out. People wanted to order more.
After graduating, she knew she wanted to start a company, and she didn't want to do it alone. So she asked her mom, who's also a registered dietitian, to do it with her.
Nuts About Granola started as a stand at Central Market York. Lanphier said she'd spend eight hours making granola in a commercial kitchen, then five more hours on a computer. She moved back in with her parents and worked part-time jobs while creating a strong foundation.
After four full years, it's rolling.
Lanphier said her company grew by 500 percent in 2012. At least 12 businesses and markets in York and Lancaster counties sell Nuts About Granola products. The company recently moved into a larger manufacturing facility, and Lanphier hopes to one day sell her granola at major grocery stores. The home-owner no longer lives with her parents.
In November, the Lanphiers moved from Central Market to a shop on Philadelphia Street to have a more prominent presence.
I recently saw a sign outside that read "Parfait Bar," so I decided to feature Nuts about Granola as a Cheap Eats. I later learned that the company had offered made-to-order parfaits since it first opened at the market.
I stopped in on a Tuesday morning and ordered a parfait with nonfat Greek yogurt, strawberries, and Mexican Hot Chocolate granola, and picked up a bag of Super Seedy granola to go. Tip: Buy the granola from the bulk bins instead of prepackaged bags because it costs $2 less per pound.
An employee sliced up the strawberries on a small cutting board off to the right of the counter and layered the ingredients in a plastic cup. I loved that it was made fresh, without any added sugar on the fruit.
The Mexican Hot Chocolate turned out to be a perfect choice. Dark chocolate is my go-to when I crave something sweet, I put cinnamon on every breakfast food, and I can't get enough spice.
Nuts About Granola has such a strong presence in York, so I'm sure I'm among the many who like the product and the work the Lanphiers have done.
Lanphier said there was a point when she didn't know if her business would make it; in its third year, it needed to grow quicker to survive. As that happened, Lanphier picked up slack as she waited for Evan Hines, a new full-time employee, to come on.
During times such as that, she said, she draws motivation from her days as a training athlete when she learned how to deal with temporary physical and mental stress.
As a business owner, she said, you have a lot of setbacks, but she takes them in stride.
"You take a step back, you evaluate them and keep moving," Lanphier said.
I'm sure she knows, but she's a pretty tough competitor.
Cheap Eats profiles local eateries, aiming to please our palates and our wallets. Reach Leigh Zaleski at 717-771-2101, firstname.lastname@example.org, @leighzaleski.
Nuts About Granola Shoppe
LOCATION: 46 W. Philadelphia St. in York
CUISINE: Granola and fruit-and-yogurt parfaits
LEIGH'S PICK: A parfait and a 10-ounce bag of Super Seedy ($9.25)
HOURS: 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday; 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday
PRICE RANGE: $3 to $6
ACCEPTS: Cash and Credit
KID'S MENU: No
DETAILS: Visit www.nutsaboutgranola.com or call 717-814-9648